Two years and one week after he was given charge of the Indian men’s hockey team, chief coach Michael Nobbs has been removed from post.
The decision was taken on Monday after a meeting attended by the officials of the Sports Authority of India and Hockey India.
SAI director-general Jiji Thomson said the results in the last two years were not proportionate to the kind of salary and support being provided to Nobbs.
“His contract stipulates an exit clause with a one-month notice, and we have followed that. Hockey India informed us on Monday that they did not wish to continue with his services. Since he was employed with us, we had to take the final decision,” Thomson said.
According to Thomson, HI had “expressed dissatisfaction over his performance. Since he was not giving results there was no point in trying to continue with Nobbs. If HI wants to have someone else or make M.K. Kaushik (deputy coach) the chief coach, they can send a fresh proposal after Nobbs’s notice period ends.”
HI secretary-general Narinder Batra said there were several reasons for the decision.
“The results were not coming. We also felt he was losing motivation. He had, in fact, offered to resign after the Hockey World League in Rotterdam, but no decision was taken immediately. There was a discussion on whether we should do it before or after the Asia Cup, but decided to do it now,” Batra said.
“The Asia Cup is a very important assignment and if he is not motivated enough, there is no point in having him there. For now (high performance director) Roelant Oltmans will take charge of the camp in Bangalore, with M.K. Kaushik assisting him.”
As for promoting Kaushik later, Batra ruled out the possibility.
“Kaushik will be the national coach but we need a foreign coach, no doubts about that. There is a lean period after the Asia Cup and we are likely to finalise the new chief coach by the year-end,” Batra said.
Nobbs was appointed on June 30, 2011, for a period of five years. The only major success for India under Nobbs was qualifying for the London Olympics, but a last-place finish there meant the pressure was back on the Australian.