Hockey Olympian and coach, Mir Ranjan Negi on Wednesday, blamed the Indian team’s 12th place finish at the Olympic Games to failure of the system. “The poor finish was nothing to do with the players. It is the failure of the system for which the coach Michael Nobbs should be blamed.

Speaking on the occasion of the National Sports Day and the 107th birth anniversary of Major Dhyanchand at the Asutosh Birth Centenary Hall, where the Bengal Hockey Association had conducted its annual prize distribution ceremony here, Negi said he was ready to take over as the coach of the Indian men’s team.

“The team cannot do worse than this. I am ready to take up the challenge if given the opportunity,’’ he told the media. “The biggest problem is that the foreign coaches do not understand the Indian boys at all. Only Indian coaches will be able to handle the boys in such situations. Also, I think Nobbs made a number of errors in team selection. When the team went into crisis there was no second plan to get it out of the woods,’’ he said.

BHA secretary Gurbux Singh said all the 66 clubs playing in the local league would be given Rs. 4,000 per year in addition to the Rs. 4,000 they have been getting all these years.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Gurdeep Singh, Commissioner of Customs (Port), Olympians Yashwant Rajput, Bir Bahadur Chhetri, Keshav Dutt, Group captain Subodh Bhatnagar, Regional Director (SAI) and the BHA President, Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti. — Special Correspondent

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