New Delhi: Former and current India players feel that Paul van Ass' 'firing' as Indian men's hockey team's chief coach barely five months into the job could prove to be detrimental to its preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Former international hockey player and son of legendary Dhyan Chand, Ashok Kumar said it is an unfortunate situation which the national team find itself now but feels Hockey India needs to believe in a coach. "Not doubt our Olympic preparation is in jeopardy after this development. People now have their own ego in hockey and can't tolerate criticism." he said.
Captain of India's 1975 World Cup winning side in Kuala Lumpur, Ajit Pal Singh, however, feels Van Ass's is accountable to his employers. Ajit Pal said van Ass's has contractual obligations. "It (coach) should have been a continuous process. After Walsh, van Ass took charge of the team. If we keen changing the horse frequently in between it will definitely affect us," he said.
Sports Ministry officials clarified that they are yet to receive any form of communication. "We have received no communication from Hockey India on this," said Sports Secretary Ajit Sharan. "We have no knowledge of his sacking," another Ministry official added.