Hockey India (HI) President A.K. Mattoo on Friday tried to downplay the reported ‘revolt’ by some players against chief coach Jose Brasa.
Mr. Mattoo who air-dashed to Pune on Thursday after reports of discontent among the players, spoke like a man in control on Friday. “Nothing was wrong. It was only a creation of the media,” he said.
However, he added that that it was also because of a lack of communication between the coach and the players.
“Sometimes you need to talk to all the parties — the athletes, the coaches, the foreign coach. My ears are open and I am in a mood to listen. I spoke (in Pune) to everyone on my list,” Mr. Mattoo said.
Mr. Mattoo said that he first met the players collectively and then again talked to them individually before meeting the Indian coaches and other staff at the National camp. In the end he also spoke to Brasa and explained to him the need to carry the players along with him.
He told the players that it was up to the coach to devise his training methods and work-loads and there could not be any arguments about such matters.
The issue of captaincy has been a contentious topic in recent times as many players had not liked Brasa’s practice of fielding different captains for different games during the tour of Canada.
While HI, in a press release issued on November 13, had named Rajpal Singh as the skipper of the Indian team for the Champions Challenge I tournament in Salta, Argentina, Mr. Mattoo said: “The captain has not been decided. We will take a call in a few days.”
On Sandeep Singh’s back injury and his availability for the Champions Challenge I tournament, the HI President said, “Sandeep had a back problem but he has come out of it.”
Mr. Mattoo said the drag-flicker should pass the fitness test to be picked for the event.
He further added that he would be talking to the seven players, who had stayed away from the camp, citing personal reasons.
The team members, meanwhile, received the Spanish visas on Friday and the departure is being scheduled for Monday as per the original itinerary. The Argentina visas were, however, awaited late on Friday.