Sports Ministry assigns specific role for Charlesworth

The Australian high performance coach would now work with junior teams as attempts to revive Indian hockey get underway.

updated: March 17, 2008 14:41 IST
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New Delhi:

Rattled by the furores over India's failure to qualify for the Olympics, the Sports Ministry on Monday sought to put an end to the cold war between the IHF and technical advisor Ric Charlesworth by assigning a specific role for the Australian great in the development of the sport.

The Australian legend had been roped in by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to revive Indian hockey but no clear role had been assigned to him till now.

But the Santiago debacle forced the Sports Ministry and the IHF top brass to sort out the issue as Charlesworth's absence in Santiago had raised a few eyebrows.

After a high level meeting involving Sports Ministry Secretary S K Arora, Joint Secretary I Srinivas and Sports Authority of India Director general Ratan Wattal IHF chief KPS Gill and Secretary K Jothikumaran, it was decided that Charlesworth would be entrusted with the charge of the development teams such as the under-19 and under-21 squads and not the men's senior side.

"We do not want any ambiguity when the proposal is sent to Charlesworth. He will work with the coaches to groom under-19, under-21 teams for junior Asia Cup and World Cup. He will also work with the women's senior team who will play the Olympic qualifiers next month," a ministry source said.

At the meeting, convened at the behest of the Sports Ministry, it was made clear that India must now look forward to the future instead of dwelling on the past.

"The period of mourning is over," the source said.