I just didn't believe India could be this difficult: Charlesworth

Updated: 17 July 2008 16:07 IST

Charlesworth said he was convinced he could not effectively operate as an advisor as his recommendations did not carry any weight.

New Delhi:

Ric Charlesworth, who created a flutter with his abrupt resignation as India's hockey consultant, may be persuaded by the game's governing body to continue in the post even as he came under a sharp attack by the IOA for being of little help to the national team.

A day after his dramatic resignation came to light, the FIH gave a new turn to the developments by indicating that the Australian legend would "stay back" in India and complete his stint which has been marked by a constant bickering with the hockey establishment.

Charlesworth resignation has not gone down too well with the ad-hoc committee, currently running the hockey affairs in the country, with top officials questioning his contribution and utility for developing the game.

To add to the confusion, some media reports claimed that Charlesworth had not tendered his resignation and had gone to Australia to attend to his ailing mother.

But the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which had disbanded the Indian Hockey Federation under KPS Gill and formed its own committee, confirmed that he had put in his papers on June 25.

A top delegation of the FIH officials will be visiting Hyderabad on July 18-19 when a final decision on Charlesworth's fate is expected to be taken.

"I spoke to the FIH President Els (Van Breda Vriesman) and she said he'll (Charlesworth) stay back. We will talk in detail when a delegation of top FIH officials visits India on July 18-19," IOA General Secretary Randhir Singh told PTI on Friday.

Charlesworth was, however, quoted as saying from Australia that he had heard about the speculation about his resignation but it was "absurd" for him to comment since he was not aware of the content of the reports.

The Australian said he would be returning to India on July 26, but did not elaborate.

The former Australian captain, one of the most respected players of his era, has cited several reasons including failure to pay his arrears and inadequate working conditions for his decision to quit after just a seven-month stint.

Charlesworth has also threatened to take legal action against his employers if they fail to pay his "outstanding" bills.

In a strongly worded resignation letter, a copy of which is available with PTI, Charlesworth said that he was convinced he could not effectively operate as an advisor as his recommendations did not carry any weight.

The former Australian captain also cited the "entirely unrealistic" expectations on him and the failure to give him a proper support staff as some of the other reasons for packing his bags.

"I have been working in India since 10th of December 2007, although SAI unfortunately has failed to recognise in contractual format my earlier tenure. On March 20th under duress I finally signed a contract that was far from adequate and from what was agreed earlier," Charlesworth said in his resignation letter.

"I did so in order to continue my work in the hope that things will improve in my working conditions and that I would have the opportunity to do what the original concept entailed," said Charlesworth.

"I also did so with the express promise of the IHF President and Secretary General as well as Executive director team sports that all outstanding invoices and salary arrears would be paid expeditiously. This has not proved to be the case. The history of the contract negotiations and the fact of so many unfulfilled promises is the great regret of my time in India," he said.

Charlesworth had been sent to India by the FIH, the game's world governing body, as part of a project to revive Indian hockey. However the previous IHF regime under KPS Gill did not allow him to coach the senior team and generally did not involve him with its activities.

But after India failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics the IHF, under pressure from the FIH, formally signed the contract with Charlesworth in March.

"The expectations of my position have been entirely unrealistic. Given no support staff, impossible travelling and living arrangements, no tools of trade and freedom to act, the whole thing has proved very difficult if not impossible. All these things had been promised," he said.

"I am not crying foul as I knew India would be difficult... I just did not believe it could be this difficult. I still have no computer, no employer provided phone, no efficient capacity to plan and book travel and I remain unpaid for many months with considerable personal expenditure un-remitted," he said.

Topics : Hockey
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