Panel on Walsh issue to meet again on Nov 17
New Delhi: The three-member panel formed to look into the demands of Terry Walsh to stay on as the chief coach of the national hockey team could not arrive at a decision on the issue today and fixed another meeting on Monday.
The panel comprising former hockey captains Ajit Pal Singh, Ashok Kumar and Zafar Iqbal met Walsh, Hockey India Performance Director Roelant Oltmans and Sports Authority of India officials for over three hours but could not take a final decision.
HI officials were not present at the meeting.
Panel chairman Ajit Pal said that there was a discussion on the demands raised by Walsh but decided to meet again.
"We had a positive discussion on every issue. We told Terry our point of view and heard his point of view. We told him our problems and heard his. Since we met for the first time today to discuss the issue, we decided to meet again on November 17 where Hockey India and sports ministry officials will be present and I expect a decision on that day," Ajit Pal told PTI.
Ashok Kumar said Walsh was adamant on some issues, including 120-day paid leave.
"We have told him that this is not in our system. He also has time to think about this before a final decision is taken. The discussion was positive," Ashok said.
SAI Director (Teams) Sudhir Setia said since the main party Hockey India was absent, no decision could be taken.
"They (HI) were pre-occupied with their programme, so we have fixed the next meeting on November 17," Setia said.
Sports Secretary Ajit Sharan also could not be present at the meeting as he was out of the capital.
The panel has little time to decide on the future of Walsh, who has categorically said that he won't continue after his contract expires on November 19, if he does not have his way in running of the team.
Walsh's sudden resignation last month came as a surprise to many after he guided India to their first Asian Games gold in 16 years. A day later, however, the the Australian agreed to continue in his role, provided his conditions were fulfilled.
Besides asking for more decision-making powers for himself and Oltmans, Walsh wants handpicked personnel as his support staff and more time with family in Australia.
It has been reported that Walsh has asked for 120 days of of paid leave, during which, he will keep in touch with the team through video conferencing.