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Hockey India’s High Performance Director David John resigns

NEW DELHI: Hockey India’s (HI) High Performance Director, David John, has resigned from his post, sources told Timesofindia.com. While the Australian has cited personal reasons behind his decision, sources say that the coach was “feeling left out” in the set-up despite the Sports Authority of India (SAI) renewing his contract until September 2021. According to…

Hockey India’s High Performance Director David John resigns

NEW DELHI: Hockey India‘s (HI) High Performance Director, David John, has resigned from his post, sources told Timesofindia.com. While the Australian has cited personal reasons behind his decision, sources say that the coach was “feeling left out” in the set-up despite the Sports Authority of India (SAI) renewing his contract until September 2021.

According to sources, he has sent his resignation to both HI and SAI.

While HI’s media department refused to confirm, sources connected to the federation said that John was feeling “ignored” within the federation and was lately also “not included in WhatsApp groups” made before every tournament or in the decision-making process.

“Everybody would be in that group, except John. He was just attending meetings at the SAI office because he was the designated High Performance Director for hockey,” the source said.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant halt in sports activities perhaps pushed his decision. The Indian men’s team is not scheduled to play until March 2021, when the rescheduled Asian Champions Trophy will take place.

John’s stint as the High Performance Director since the end of 2016 was his second term with HI, after serving as the physio of the men’s team, which coincided with the appointment of Michael Nobbs as chief coach in 2011. John left after the 2012 London Olympics, before joining HI again in 2016 as the High Performance Director.

Several calls made to John for a response remained unanswered.

Working on a salary of around US$ 12,000, John made news when he termed former India captain Sardar Singh as slow, which soon followed the star playmaker’s decision to retire just ahead of the 2018 Men’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar. In fact, Sardar went on record to blame John for a role in ending his career.

“I was never fast, my game has never been like that. So I don’t know why John had said that,” Sardar had said while breaking his silence on the issue during the 2018 Ekamra Sports Literature Festival.

As far as replacing somebody in John’s position is concerned, it might take a while because HI, along with other national sports federations, currently stands derecognised; and SAI’s first priority would be to address that issue before approving new recruitments.

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