Reports: Indian men's hockey team head coach Paul van Ass sacked
If reports from various news outlets are to be believed, then the Indian men’s team head coach, Paul van Ass has been sacked by Hockey India. It is unclear what prompted such a decision by the Federation as India have been performing well under the Dutchman.
Van Ass was supposed to return to India for the training camp which starts on 18th July. However, he failed to report for the camp in Himachal Pradesh after his official holiday post the Hockey World League (HWL) semis.
It was reported that the Dutchman and his players were confronted by Hockey India President Mr. Narinder Batra after the quarter-final clash against Malaysia in the HWL semis, which India scraped through in the dying moments of the game.
The whole saga started when Mr. Batra barged onto the playing field moments after the conclusion of the quarter-final and in a heated encounter asked the coach and the players to up their game. However, the Indian head coach was not amused by Batra’s intrusion and asked him to leave citing he had no authority to talk to the team on the playing field.
The 54-year-old took charge of the Indian team earlier this year, replacing Englishman Terry Walsh. Under his tutelage, the Indian team finished 4th at the HWL semis earlier this month and 3rd at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in April 2015.
Before his stint with India, the Dutchman was in charge of the Netherlands team, guiding them to a podium finish (2nd) in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He joined the Indian team after his contract expired with the Dutch team at the end of 2014.
However, conflicting reports are emerging as the Hockey India have said that they have not parted ways with the Dutchman, but Van Ass claims that Batra has told him in no uncertain terms that his time with the Indian team is up.