Bhopal, Oct 4 (UNI) Former olympian Aslam Sher Khan today alleged that prevailing corruption at selection level forced foreign hockey coaches to breach their contract and desert Indian teams in the middle of major tournaments.
''Foreign coaches do not have good relations with Indian sports administrators as the former can not tolerate partiality in the selection process overlooking deserving players'', the Indian Hockey Federation's former selection committee chairman told UNI here.
''Coaches do not tolerate interference in their job and they also do not want other authorities to poke nose into their affairs'', Khan said.
''Our hockey administrators are not readily willing to accept foreign coaches, though players in other disciplines are gaining expertise by undergoing training under foreign coaches,'' he candidly admitted.
Corruption and irregularities in hockey administration has forced Olympian Ric Charlesworth, who was appointed as India's technical director to breach his contract. Later, he became the coach of Australia, Khan added. After few months, he said, India's pathetic display leading to non-qualification for the Olympics had disheartened hockey lovers in the country.
About the standard of hockey in Pakistan, Khan said he did not think that Pakistan had attained a higher position than India.''Both countries are sharing the same turf in terms of ranking,''he opined.
Pointing out that hockey has stagnated at its own nursery in Bhopal, he said optimum number of budding players were not coming forward to take up the sport as their career.
''Lack of efforts, comforts, incentives and determination proved to be great lacunae in this endeavour,'' the former minister averred.
Khan, who wrote his autobiography 'To Hell with Hockey', said that hockey was spoiled by those who were bestowed with the responsibility to safeguard it. Still, the game could be revived with team work.
''Bhopal is a fertile land for the sport but focussed manoeuvre can develop new wizards in hockey,'' Khan added.
UNI KV SP AB RK1548