Harendra Singh, coach of the Indian men’s hockey team has been reportedly asked either to quit or be sacked as Hockey India began their search for a ‘good, quality foreign coach’ for national team. The men’s team were disappointingly knocked out of the World Cup after losing 2-1 to the Netherlands.
After topping the group stage, the Indian men’s team were expected to make it to the semis of the international competition. Failing to do that, reports have now surfaced that head coach, Harendra Singh, has been forced to either quit his post or be sacked as Hockey India begin their search for a new coach. Preliminary inquiries have already begun on the weekend.
Earlier, reports in The Hockey Insider had revealed that Harendra was already under the radar of top Hockey India executives even before the biggest hockey event in the country's history started in Orissa. The only way that Singh would retain his position was if India produced an extraordinary show in the World Cup, but unfortunately, it did not go his way.
His outburst after the quarter-final did not go down well with Hockey India officials and was an embarrassment to a country hosting the World Cup. Harendra's criticism of double standards in flashing cards got an official retort on Saturday when the FIH Technical Delegate "officials reprimanded" him for "unacceptable" statements against the umpires.
Harendra was the target of criticism from the International Hockey Federation's Chief Executive and was also required to meet the Umpires' Manager and explain his criticism of the umpires during the quarter-final loss to the Netherlands. Sources inside the Indian governing body also revealed that although Harendra did not volunteer to go and meet the umpires, he was summoned by the FIH Technical Delegate for a 'disciplinary hearing’.
FIH President, Narinder Batra, who is also the president of the Indian Olympic Association, added that he would speak on the matter in detail after the World Cup.
"Be graceful whether you win or lose. Finding faults is very easy and I’ve got a very strong view on this sort of behaviour. I will express my views after getting back to Delhi. Umpires will get criticised by anybody who loses," said Batra, who was in charge of Hockey India until his election as the first non-European FIH President in 2017.
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