Mumbai, Mar 12 (UNI) The turnaround in fortunes for Indian hockey coach Jaoquim Carvalho was made complete when after the Indian team became the first squad not to qualify for Olympics in 80 years, the Bombay Hockey Association took a decision to withhold the Rs 1.25 lakh cash award which they had decided to honour Carvalho with.
The Bombay Hockey Association (BHA) has decided to withhold the cash award of Rs 1.25 lakh that they were supposed to award Carvalho for the team's spate of successes before the Olympic Qualifier tournament in Santiago, Chile. India won bronze medals in the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia in May and the Champions Challenge in Belgium in June. They also clinched the Asia Cup in Chennai in September.
BHA honorary secretary Kehar Singh said here that they have done this because ''firstly Carvalho deliberately stayed away and also kept the players away from the felicitation function that we had organised on February 20. And secondly, given the team's performance in Chile, he doesn't deserve the money now.'' A week before the team left for Santiago, BHA had announced that Mumbai-based players Shivendra Singh, Gurbaj Singh and Adrian D'Souza would be presented with Rs 1 lakh each, while Carvalho would receive Rs 1.25 lakh at a felicitation function at BHA's premises in Churchgate. However, other than goalkeeper D'Souza, none of the players or the coach turned up.
The Bombay Hockey Association had reportedly catered to around 300 guests for the function at the rate of Rs 350 per guest.
However, given the absence of Carvalho and the India players, only about a hundred guests turned up.
''We incurred huge losses due to this. And unless and until Joaquim comes to me and apologises for his actions and admits that he refused to release the players on the pretext of a two-day camp in Bangalore, I will not release the money,'' added Mr Singh, even as he promised not to be unfair to the players.
''Shivendra and Gurbaj will get the money as promised to them but I don't think Joaquim deserves it now,'' Mr Singh stated.
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