Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra on Friday launched a scathing attack on former head coach Ric Charlesworth, calling him a "loose cannon" after the Australian criticised the poor turnout of spectators for the Hockey World League Final here.
Batra said Charlesworth needs "psychological treatment".
"I don't react to what Ric Charlesworth says because he is a loose cannon. He himself does not know what he is saying. I just ignore whatever he says. He might be a genius in hockey, but in communication skills, he is very poor. He needs to go back to school to learn basics," Batra told reporters here.
"I think he needs to learn what language one speaks when he travels to a different country. We don't react or say something bad about a country when we see poor crowd turnout. It's that country's problem. I don't take his questions and I don't answers his questions. That man needs some mental and psychological treatment," said a fuming Batra.
Batra was reacting to a foreign journalist's query that current Australian hockey coach Charlesworth has expressed his displeasure over poor attendance in the stands and pointed out problems in the scheduling of the HWL, which he said was supposed to be held in December.
Charlesworth, during an interaction with him on the sidelines of the event, had reportedly used the word "disgrace" while talking about the poor attendance in the stands.
The query and the choice of words by Charlesworth evoked sharp criticism from Batra who went on to say that he will not take things lying down.
"I take strong objection to it. This is a strong word he is using against my country and you can't say such things about my country," he said.
To another query that players are falling sick during the tournament, Batra said the host nation cannot be blamed for each and every issue.
"Tell me, who has fallen sick? Tell me the names of the players. You can't blame my country for a player falling sick. Why do you blame our country for each and everything?" he asked.
Except for the matches involving India, which attracted a couple of thousand people on the first two days, the iconic Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium wore a deserted look.
Charlesworth was among the four foreign coaches who were shown the door by Hockey India before completing his tenure.
International Hockey Federation (FIH) CEO Kelly Fairweather, who is in the capital for the HWL's semi-finals and final, also took strong objection to Charlesworth's choice of words and said, "We know it's a new competition and we need to bring more crowd into the stadium. We acknowledge it's an issue to us and certainly it's not a disgrace."
Batra said the Indian hockey team is working towards getting among the top-8 teams in the world by the end of this year.
"I don't rate the team on day-to-day basis. Our aim is to get into top-8 teams in the world. In 2016, I would like to see my team in top-6. It's an ongoing process."