Charlesworth resigns, heads home

Hockey consultant Ric Charlesworth left for Melbourne saying he would be back only if there is no ambiguity about his role in the current set-up.

updated: July 13, 2008 07:58 IST
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New Delhi:

India's hockey consultant Ric Charlesworth on Thursday resigned from his high profile post throwing the national sport back into another crisis.

The Australian legend, who was entrusted with the responsibility of bringing back Indian hockey's past glory, put in his papers on the eve of the Junior Asia Cup that kick starts in Hyderabad on Friday, ending his bitter stint with the nation's hockey establishment.

"He has resigned from his post," a top Sports Authority of India (SAI) official confirmed.

"However, his resignation has been kept on hold. A decision would be taken only after meeting the International Hockey Federation (FIH) officials as they have deputed him as the technical director to assist Indian Hockey administrators," he added.

Earlier, the dissolved Indian Hockey Federation headed by K P S Gill had a bitter relationship with Charlesworth and was reluctant to hire his services. But Gill eventually had to bow down to the Sports Ministry's pressure.

After, the IHF's dissolution, the ad-hoc committee appointed to oversee hockey affairs brought back Charlesworth, however, the Australian was apparently not happy with the working system of the game in the country, apart from the ambiguity over his role in the nation's hockey set up.

Charlesworth, who was supposed to attend the Junior Asia Cup in Hyderabad, left for Melbourne last night.

Earlier in the day, Ad-hoc selection panel chairman Aslam Sher Khan said that Charlesworth has left for Melbourne stating that he will think again about his assignment with Indian hockey only after settling his exact role in India.

"We wanted to take his services but he said he will work with us only after getting a clear picture about his contract and role. We had three meetings with him but we cannot assure him anything because his contract is not with us," Sher Khan told PTI from Hyderabad.

The former Olympian clarified that the ad-hoc committee has no power to decide on Charlesworth's role as the Australian's contract is with SAI, the dissolved Indian Hockey Federation and the Indian Women's Hockey Federation.

According to Sher Khan, one of the reasons for Charlesworth's reluctance to work with Indian hockey is his "horrible" experience with the dissolved IHF.

"He (Charlesworth) had a horrible last six months with the (now dissolved) IHF. The issues regarding his dues and other contractual matters are still lingering," he said.