Indian men's hockey team is set to get a new foreign coach within two weeks time as the national federation has shortlisted four candidates for the top job.
Hockey India (HI) secretary general Narinder Batra has confirmed that they have received six applications from across the globe to fill the foreign coach's post, which is lying vacant after Australian Michael Nobbs' sudden ouster in July this year.
"We have received six applications for the foreign coach's post. After going through all the applicants' CVs we have shortlisted four individuals," Batra told PTI, completely rubbishing reports that HI has recommended its High Performance Director, Roelant Oltmans' name for the national team coach's position on permanent basis.
"In a day or two we will send the names to Sports Authority of India for their approval. The SAI will take a final decision on this issue after consulting us. We expect the new coach to be named within two weeks time," he said.
A newspaper report today claimed that HI had proposed Oltmans to be appointed as the national team coach till 2016 Rio Olympics and the SAI, who are responsible for hiring coaches, is believed to have approved the national body's proposal.
The report said Oltmans' name came in the running after he guided India to the silver medal finish in last month's Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia. The Dutchman was the team's interim coach during Asia Cup after Nobbs' ouster.
But the HI secretary general termed the report as "false and completely baseless".
"The report is false and completely baseless. We haven't discussed anything with SAI on this matter. The question of proposing Oltmans' name for national team coach doesn't arise at all as he is our High Performance Director. He is responsible for the development of all teams be it junior, senior, women's," Batra said.
"Oltmans himself played a key role in shortlisting the candidates. His views were also taken into consideration in pruning down the list," he added.