After sacking, Harendra Singh blasts Hockey India's interfernce in team selection

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After sacking, Harendra Singh blasts Hockey India's interfernce in team selection

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SportsCafe Desk

01/13/2019

In a letter to SAI, Harendra Singh has lashed out at the senior officials of Hockey India and revealed that he was asked to remove the names of Rupinderpal Singh, SV Sunil, and Birendra Lakra from the World Cup squad. India suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

India hockey team coach Harendra Singh was sacked as the national team coach last Wednesday after the men in blue suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Netherlands in the quarter-final of the FIH Hockey World Cup. Singh indicated at Hockey India’s interference in team selection for the World Cup. 

In a letter to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Harendra has alleged that he was asked to remove the names of three players, Rupinderpal Singh, SV Sunil and Birendra Lakra, after the selection trials on November 5. This all came after Singh was promised the night before the selectors had agreed to include the trio in the 18-member team for the international showpiece.

“I disagree with the statement pertaining to the selection of the World Cup 2018. I would here, like to highlight the World Cup Selection meeting held on the 05/11/2018.

“On the eve of the selection trial for the World Cup, Mr. Harbinder Singh, Olympian & Chairman selection committee and Mr. B.P. Govinda, Olympian & Selector came to meet me at 9:30 p.m.to discuss the team composition for the World Cup. After a lengthy discussion, we amicably agreed with the list of players that I handed them with,” Singh said in a letter to SAI, which is possession with The Indian Express.

Harendra further said that Olympian Jagbir Singh asked him to exclude the trio from the squad after the trials the following morning. The former coach also alleged that during a meeting in Bhubaneswar on November 6, then chairman of the selection committee Harbinder Singh excused himself ‘a couple of times’ to answer phone calls.

“I was taken aback as I was under the impression that we had amicably decided the list, the previous night and were going forward with it. After a lengthy discussion I tried pursuing Mr. Harbinder Ji to drop the idea as this World Cup was extremely crucial and we needed experienced players, especially after losing Sardar Singh after the Asian Games. Nevertheless, my effort to convince him otherwise remained futile.

“Also to note, between our discussions Mr. Harbinder Ji seemed pre-occupied as he excused himself a couple of times, I am not aware about the nature of his discussion on the other end of the phone line,” Harendra wrote.

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