Efforts afoot to retain Ric Charlesworth

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Delhi
  • Published 12.07.08
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New Delhi: Taken aback by Ric Charlesworth’s sudden resignation from the post of technical advisor, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is now trying its best to prove that it is the Australian who is at fault. At the same time it is trying to patch-up with the hockey legend, fearing backlash from the international hockey federation (FIH).

IOA secretary general Randhir Singh claimed FIH president Els van Breda has assured him that Charlesworth would stay back. “We will talk in detail when a delegation of top FIH officials visits India on July 18-19,” Randhir said.

While Charlesworth, in his resignation letter, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, has categorically stated how he was denied all opportunities to work during his stay in India, senior IOA officials alleged that the legendary coach was simply shirking his responsibilities.

The most vocal of them is Mohammed Aslam Khan, the convenor of the IOA-appointed ad-hoc committee for hockey. He said Charlesworth did not contribute anything to Indian hockey during his nine-month stay in the country. “He has got nothing to show for his efforts in the last nine months with the senior national team,” Khan said.

He, however, hastened to add that Charlesworth’s resignation has not yet been accepted. “There could be a new contract. Let us see what happens,” Khan said.

It is now quite clear that the group presently in charge of Indian hockey did not want Charlesworth to continue after the K.P.S Gill-led Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) was suspended by the IOA. As it has been pointed out by Charlesworth, the present regime, too, made things difficult for him.

A senior member of the ad-hoc selection committee alleged that Charlesworth never wanted to be associated with the senior team and avoided responsibilities whenever he was asked to help the team.

While Charlesworth said in his resignation letter that he remained unpaid and threatened to take legal action, Mohammed Aslam Khan blamed the previous regime, saying the ad-hoc committee did not receive the related documents from K.P.S Gill.

Crack the Code

The following are excerpts from Ric Charlesworth’s resignation letter:

“The expectations of my position have been entirely unrealistic. Given no support staff, impossible travelling and living arrangements, no tools of trade or freedom to act, the whole thing has proved very difficult if not impossible. All these things had been promised.

“Notwithstanding this difficult situation, I have fulfilled the conditions of the contract and according to its parameters, am offering my resignation.”

OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT