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Oltmans called me to say I was fired: Paul van Ass

Sacked India hockey coach Paul van Ass says High Performance Director Roelant delivered the news of his axing in July

New Delhi: Indian men's hockey team chief coach Paul van Ass yesterday created a flutter by claiming that he has been fired by Hockey India following his alleged public altercation with federation president Narinder Batra, throwing the sport into yet another phase of uncertainty.

Roelant Oltmans and Paul van Ass
Roelant Oltmans and Paul van Ass 

After days of intense speculation over his fate, the outspoken Dutchman yesterday came out in the open to clear his position and said that he was conveyed that his services were no longer required.

"As far I know I was fired one week after the Hockey World League semi-finals in Antwerp, Belgium. Roelant Oltmans (High Performance Director) was asked to replace me," Van Ass told PTI from The Netherlands.

"I have been told that Dr Batra doesn't want me to be the coach any more. Roelant called and informed me about this," he said.

"I am yet to get official confirmation but I expect to get it by the end of this week. That is precisely the reason why I didn't turn up for the camp," the Dutchman said. There was no immediate confirmation of the development Hockey India or Van Ass' employer the Sports Authority of India.

Hockey India has outrightly denied that Van Ass' has been sacked and said that he had not reported for his duty on the stipulated date. If Van Ass is indeed relived of his duty he would become the fourth foreign coach to be shown the door even since Hockey India took the reins of the game in 2009.

Van Ass's predecessors Jose Brasa, Michael Nobbs and Terry Walsh — all of whom were hired by SAI on the recommendations of HI at hefty salaries — also left the country on an unceremonious note.

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