Batra slams head coach Harendra

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 15 (IANS) Head coach Harendra Singhs criticism of the referees decision in Indias 1-2 loss to the Netherlands in the World Cup quarter-final didnt go down too well with International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Narinder Batra as he hinted at yet another knee-jerk sacking.

Indian hockey has already seen the sacking of two coaches this year with the experienced Roelant Oltmans and Sjoerd Marijne being shown the doors without being given too many chances to implement their ideas.

Harendra may be next on the list with Batra, who is also the chief of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), expressing displeasure with the Indian coach’s post-match outburst.

“I have to follow certain protocols as FIH president. I have some views, very strong ones, on this kind of behaviour,” Batra told reporters ahead of the World Cup semi-finals here on Saturday.

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“A sport has to be played and respected. After December 17, I will be in New Delhi and I intend to speak on the matter as National Olympic Committee (NOC) president,” he added.

Harendra had on Thursday lashed out at the referee’s decision in the aftermath of the heartbreaking loss to the Dutch that stretched India’s 43-year wait to reach a World Cup semi-final.

“I want to say that we can fight 11 versus 11 in a match but not 13 versus 11. The umpires cannot rob the world Cup from this team,” he had fumed.

FIH CEO Thierry Weil had also criticised Harendra’s comments earlier.

“It (questioning umpires) is not acceptable. We will not review anything, what we will review is complaints made against the umpires. That is not acceptable for FIH,” he said.

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“A level of respect has to be there. If you lose, you have to accept it and look forward,” he added.

With both Batra and Weil on the same page, it looks highly likely that Harendra’s contract, that was till the World Cup, will not be renewed.

–IANS

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