NEW DELHI, Oct 21 (PTI): In a sudden jolt to Indian hockey, chief coach Terry Walsh today resigned from his post because of a “pay dispute” with the Sports Authority of India, barely three weeks after guiding the team to a historic gold medal in the Asian Games in Incheon.The 60-year-old Australian, himself a noted Olympian, submitted his resignation in dramatic fashion, saying that he was finding it difficult to adjust to the decision making style of the sporting bureaucracy in the country. His contract was to run till the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Soon after his resignation, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that he was looking for a resolution of the issue and has sought a report from SAI within the next 24 hours.
On a day of high drama, Walsh’s resignation created a flutter in the hockey fraternity and triggered off a blame game between Hockey India and SAI.
While HI maintained that the pay dispute and suffocating bureaucracy had prompted Walsh to quit, SAI rubbished that claim, saying that the Australian had never complained of any financial issues.
“I hereby tender my resignation as the Chief Coach, Indian Men’s Hockey Team, effective as per the details of my contract or as agreed to by all concerned parties,” Walsh said in a letter sent to Thomson on October 19. The letter was released to the media today.
“I am finding considerable difficulty adjusting to the decision making style of the sporting bureaucracy in India which I believe, in the long term, is not in the best interests of Indian Hockey or it’s players,” said Walsh under whom India also won a silver in Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
“In addition to my difficulties with not being able to professionally operate within these bureaucratic confines, I am not willing to continue with the constant time away from my family in Australia. My current commitment places too much stress on my personal life,” he added.
Walsh was, however, ready to reconsider his decision if he was given a new contract on his terms and conditions.
It is learnt that Walsh and some other support staff were having some issues with the government over TDS (Tax Deduction at Source) in their salaries.