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Schopman resigns as chief coach of Indian women's hockey team

Updated - February 25, 2024 06:47 am IST

Published - February 23, 2024 10:54 pm IST - New Delhi

The Dutch coach had taken over the reins of the women's team in 2021 from Sjoerd Marine.

Indian Woman hockey team coach Schopman | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

Indian women's hockey team chief coach Janneke Schopman resigned on Friday, days after creating a furore by claiming that she was not valued and respected enough by the national federation.

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The Dutch coach had taken over the reins of the women's team in 2021 from Sjoerd Marine, who had led the side to a historic fourth position at the Tokyo Olympics.

Schopman had joined the Indian women's team in January 2020 as analytical coach under Marijne. Her contract was to end in August this year after the Paris Olympics but following her recent critical comments, it was expected that she won't continue.

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Hockey India (HI) informed that the 46-year-old coach tendered her resignation to Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey after the conclusion of the team's outing in the home leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League in Odisha.

"At the back of the disappointment at the recent Olympic Qualifiers, her resignation has paved the way for Hockey India to look for a suitable Chief Coach for the Women's Hockey Team who could prepare the Indian Team for the next Women's World Cup in 2026 and Los Angeles Olympics 2028," Hockey India said in a release.

"It is time to begin a fresh chapter in Indian women's hockey with the players progress being at the centre of our focus," the statement added.

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Schopman had broken down during a mixed zone interaction after a Pro League match in Odisha and claimed that the men's coaches were treated differently by Hockey India.

"I felt alone a lot in the last two years. I come from a culture where women are respected and valued. I don't feel that here," she had said.

"Coming from the Netherlands, having worked in the USA, this country is extremely difficult as a woman. Coming from a culture where you can have an opinion and it's valued. It's really hard." Hockey India had denied any preferential treatment for the men's team and its coaches, asserting that all the coaches were equal for them.

The Indian team did well under Schopman, winning 38, drawing 17 and losing 19 matches out of 74 the team played.

The title victory at 2023 Asian Champions Trophy remains the team's best performance under her. However, the failure to qualify for the Paris Games came as a big disappointment.

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