Walsh stays as India coach, to be given fresh contract
New Delhi: A day after his dramatic announcement to quit, India’s chief hockey coach Terry Walsh today decided to continue in his post after a meeting with top sports officials, who have assured the Australian that his concerns will be addressed in a fresh contract.
After a hectic meeting with the Sports Ministry and SAI officials, the 60-year-old Walsh decided not to push for his resignation, much to the relief of the country’s hockey fraternity.
Walsh’s decision was announced by the Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted,
I am happy that after SAI’s efforts #TerryWalsh is back. Looking ahead for a bright future for hockey in India
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) October 22, 2014
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) issued a statement, giving details of the meeting and making it clear that Walsh, who guided the Indian team to a historic gold at Incheon Asian Games, had no financial issues with them.
“During the discussion, he made it very clear that he has no problems with regard to the tax deduction or remuneration. His major concern was about the lack of functional autonomy in deciding the technical matters relating to hockey,” SAI DG Jiji Thomson said in a statement.
“He was of the view that he, along with the High Performance Director, need to be given more freedom in the decision making process. From SAI side, we have absolutely no issues on this. This is a matter that needs to be discussed with Hockey India,” he said.
Thomson also said that soon a meeting, under the chairmanship of Sports Minister, will be called to thrash out all the issues.
“We intend to convene a meeting shortly under the Chairmanship of the Hon’ble Minister(i/c), Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs & Sports, wherein, SAI, Ministry of Sports, Hockey India and Terry Walsh for thrashing out this issue.”
Another issue raised by Walsh was about the number of holidays he is entitled to.
“This is an issue that could be sorted out and we have expressed our readiness to reconsider the holiday package,” Thomson said.
“We have also requested Mr Terry Walsh to help us in preparing a long term athlete development plan for hockey. He has readily expressed his willingness to get the best experts available and prepare this plan,” SAI DG added.