IHF relents, invites Charlesworth

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{image-ric charlesworth_15032008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New Delhi, Mar 15: In a dramatic turnaround, Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) finally gave in to relentless pressure and decided to invite FIH named Australian coach Ric Charlesworth for serious discussion here on Monday.

Charlesworth was slated to go to Chile along with the Indian team for the Olympic Qualifier but with IHF refused to accept him as a coach of the senior team so he had to stay back home (Australia).But after India's failure to qualify for the Olympics, for the first time in it's hockey history, there were demands that drastic action be taken against the IHF.

Intially, IHF tried to brush aside all the criticism but as the pressure started mounting, the Federation was left with no other alternative but to go in for a damage control.

The invitation to Charlesworth is being viewed in this contest. The decision was taken by the Sports Ministry after consultations with IHF chief K P S Gill.

According to sports ministry official said Ric Charlesworth will be given the contract after the meeting.

Intrestingly, the former Australian captain was made to run around for the contract for about two months and had to go back to his country in disgust.

He was not even given a ticket to go to Chile.

Meanwhile, Charlesworth has confirmed that he has been asked to come to India.

''I have received a letter from the Sports Ministry. The entire process has been delayed and I feel my presence could have been useful in Santiago'' and asserted that ''the team's preparations for the Olympic qualifiers was inadequate,'' Charlesworth said.

He however, made it clear that without a change in the system, ''there is no point in having me'', but added ''I will go to Delhi for the meeting''.

UNI

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