Indian hockey coach Walsh’s contract to be renewed
New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) A day after Indian hockey chief coach Terry Walsh resigned citing difficulty in dealing with the bureaucracy, Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general Jiji Thomson Wednesday said the contract of the Asian Games gold medal-winning coach will be “renewed” before Nov 19.
Thomson said Walsh will be provided more functional autonomy in technical matters related to the running of the sport.
“Walsh has not withdrawn his resignation. As per the contract, he has to give one month’s notice for resignation. Since the resignation will officially come into effect from Nov 19, 2014, it was decided that the contract will be renewed before 19th November,” Thomson said in a statement.
Thomson also clarified that the 60-year-old Walsh, who receives a monthly salary of $16,000, has no problems with the tax deduction or remuneration.
“Today, we had a lengthy discussion with Walsh, who made it very clear that he has no problems with regard to the tax deduction or remuneration. His major concern was about the lack of functional autonomy in deciding the technical matters relating to hockey. He was of the view that he, along with the High Performance Director (Roelant Oltmans), needed to be given more freedom in the decision-making process,” Thomson added.
“From SAI side, we have absolutely no issues on this. This is a matter that needs to be discussed with Hockey India. We intend to convene a meeting shortly under the chairmanship of the Minister (independent charge), Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs & Sports, Sarbananda Sonowal where SAI, Ministry of Sports, Hockey India and Walsh will be present to thrash out the issue.”
The SAI director general said the new contract will also include a new holiday package for the Australian.
“Another issue raised by Terry Walsh was about the number of holidays he is entitled to. Again, this is an issue that could be sorted out and we have expressed our readiness to reconsider the holiday package,” the statement read.
The decision was welcomed by Sonowal, who said India will have a bright future under Walsh.
“I am happy that after SAI’s efforts, Terry Walsh is back. Looking ahead for a bright future for hockey in India,” Sonowal tweeted.
Thomson added that SAI also requested the Australian to help in preparing a long-term athlete development plan for hockey.
Walsh Tuesday cited “difficulty in adjusting to the functioning of the country’s bureaucratic system” and personal reasons as the causes for quitting his post.
“I am not willing to continue with the constant time away from my family in Australia. My current commitment places too much stress on my personal life,” the 60-year-old said Tuesday.
Walsh’s decision triggered a blame-game with the SAI contending that Walsh was unhappy with the functioning of Hockey India (HI) rather than the nodal agency, leading to his quitting the post.
“He (Walsh) made a visit to our office and met Sudhir Setia, executive director (Teams) wherein he expressed his anguish regarding working in a suffocating atmosphere in the federation. We are totally unaware of what happened in HI,” Thomson had said in a statement.