Hockey India doesn't need Walsh: Batra
New Delhi: Hockey India (HI) president Narinder Batra Tuesday clearly stated that they do not require the services of former men's team chief coach Terry Walsh and will start their search for a replacement "with approval of SAI".
This move from Batra comes just as Walsh expressed his willingness to continue as India chief coach despite recently resigning from his post due to bureaucratic red-tapism.
In a letter addressed to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General Jiji Thomson, Batra wrote: "We have received a mail from Hockey USA as confidential and as per that mail the issue of financial irregularity by Mr. Walsh in USA is not settled even as of today, hence his contention that his issue with USA was settled in 2012 is false and incorrect."
A week ago, Batra had alleged that the Australian coach was involved in financial impropriety during his tenure with USA Field Hockey.
"Further Mr. Terry Walsh thru press and media has been threatening to file legal cases. Mr. Walsh has been given sufficient time to clarify on the financial irregularity issue and he instead tried to beat around the bush. HI now does not require services of Mr. Terry Walsh and will look for a new chief coach with approval of SAI," added Batra.
The Indian hockey strongman continued his attack on Walsh, writing that Walsh was trying to project as a "martyr" and HI as a "villain".
"Regarding his showing commitment for players, I had in presence of HI CEO and Mr. Oltmans offered full salary for one month after Nov 19 to Terry Walsh to stay on with the Indian team till Champions Trophy (but this was prior to the issue of USA Hockey coming to our notice) and he refused to stay back till SAI agreed on his 120 days paid holiday in Australia and at that time he showed no concern for the Indian team, now he wants to project himself as martyr before the media and HI a villian," wrote Batra.
"We would very kindly request your goodself to forward our mail to Hon'ble Minister as HI views on Mr. Terry Walsh's re-employment for hockey in India."
Walsh Monday had written to Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal where he clarified his position about the entire affair. The 60-year-old Australian thanked SAI for being cooperative and expressed his desire to continue coaching India.
"I will keep faith with SAI and undertake to accede to their request to continue to coach the national team in the medium-term subject to the resolution of several issues with HI. Hopefully truth and common sense will prevail in the interests of the game," wrote Walsh.
"One issue that has clouded discussions has been the introduction of a reprehensible allegation relating to my tenure with the USA Field Hockey Federation. The allegation is baseless and has already been refuted by US hockey officials. It is still being peddled.
Walsh, an Olympic silver medallist, had also written that he is considering legal recourse.
"I have instituted legal proceedings in the United States to seek restitution and protect my reputation. I am considering similar actions in India. This is very unfortunate and distracts from the task of placing Indian hockey on an upward path to modern practices and procedures," wrote Walsh.
"Regardless of the nature of my future involvement in India I remain committed to my players. I believe that feeling is reciprocated. They are a fine bunch of men. Hockey is part of the soul of India and they are conscious of their responsibility in this regard."
He added: "I remain willing to return to India immediately to resume positive discussions with SAI and at the same time publicly refute the detestable misinformation being introduced into the public arena.
"My earnest wish is that HI joins with us to enable the national team to begin its preparations for the 2016 Olympics free of controversy and irrelevant other issues."