Hockey India on Wednesday described the government’s decision to exclude its four key support staff, including a coach, from the Asian Games-bound contingent as “distraction”, leaving its High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans in a state of “shock”.
India’s national game also had to face the brunt of the government’s decision to prune down the Indian contingent for the Incheon Asian Games to 679 from 942 after men’s team coach Jude Felix and scientific advisor Matthew David Eyles, and women’s side physiotherapist Gaurav Mehra and video analyst Amutha Prakash were not cleared for the September 19 to October 4 quadrennial event.
Even though the move didn’t go down well with Oltmans, he said both the men’s and women’s teams are focussed to deliver the goods despite the absence of the specialists.
“I am shocked. In 30 years of my professional career, I haven’t encountered such a scenario. It is impossible to manage a team without people in specific roles,” Oltmans said on the sidelines of sending-off ceremony for the teams held at HI secretary Narinder Batra’s residence here today.
“We were supposed to leave tomorrow but we still don’t know when we are flying because we haven’t got our tickets yet. These are all distracting us and throwing our plans haywire.