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Terry Walsh stays as India coach, to be given fresh contract

New Delhi: A day after his dramatic announcement to quit, India's chief hockey coach Terry Walsh today withdrew his resignation after a meeting with top sports officials, who have assured the Australian that his concerns will be addressed in a fresh contract.

After a hectic meeting with the Sports Ministry and SAI officials, the 60-year-old Walsh finally decided to withdraw his resignation, much to the relief of the country's hockey fraternity.

Terry Walsh
Terry Walsh. Pic/ Agencies

Walsh's withdrawal of the resignation was announced by the Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who tweeted, "I am happy that after SAI's efforts #TerryWalsh is back. Looking ahead for a bright future for hockey in India." SAI Director General Jiji Thomson said that issues raised by Walsh will be addressed in a fresh contract, which will be offered to him before his current contract expire on November 19.

"Since we never accepted his resignation, the question of its withdrawal does not arise. As per his contract, Walsh had to give us a month's notice period which he gave today," Thomson told PTI. "We had a fruitful meeting with him today. The issues which he had raised can easily be solved and we have assured him that they will be solved before his contract expires on November 19. We will issue him a new contract, which will take into consideration all his demands," he said.

Asked whether Walsh, who had guided the Indian team to a historic gold at Incheon Asian Games, will continue to be India's chief coach, Thomson said: "Yes, there is no question about it. He will continue in his role with the team." Walsh, a noted Olympian himself, had created a flutter yesterday by suddenly announcing his resignation, saying that he was finding it difficult to adjust to the decision-making style of the sporting bureaucracy in the country.

"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 had said in his letter to SAI.

His resignation sparked 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.

Hours after tendering his resignation, Walsh himself had hinted that he could reconsider his resignation and re-negotiate with SAI if his concerns were addressed.

Walsh and some other support staff had issues with the government over TDS (Tax Deduction at Source) in their salaries.

Thomson though had denied that there were any issues over TDS and said the problem was created by HI president Narinder Batra. He dismissed the issue as "canards" on the part of Batra.

The SAI DG said "sporting bureaucracy" mentioned by Walsh could also be Hockey India. Surprised at Walsh's sudden resignation, Sonowal had sought a report on the issue from SAI and his own secretary within 24 hours.

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