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I did not ask players to skip Azlan Shah: Carvalho
May 08, 2008 21:17 IST
India hockey coach Joaquim Carvalho on Wednesday reiterated that he was not involved in any conspiracy and did not ask three players and the team manager to skip the Azlan Shah hockey tournament.
The former Olympian, who returned from Australia after guiding the team as coach in two four-nation tournaments, said, "No sportsman will work against the nation's interest for his selfish motives. Right from the time when I played for my country I have stayed away from controversies.
"The selection committee members should check the facts before accusing me of having prevented players from playing in the Azlan Shah tournament."
Media reports claimed that Carvalho had asked Tushar Khandekar, Baljit Singh, Samir Baxla and team manager R K Shetty to return home from Australia instead of departing for the Azlan Shah tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Reacting to a statement by Aslam Sher Khan, chairman of the ad hoc selection committee, that Carvalho did not want things to run smoothly, he said, "I have not hesitated in calling a spade a spade. I appeal to Aslam to refrain from creating unnecessary confusion."
Carvalho said, as per the original plan, the team to the Azlan Shah tournament was selected in tune with the strategies of rebuilding the side for the Asia Cup (under-21) and the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
"Ric (Charlesworth) had also suggested that we should be sending a soft team to Malaysia in order to give maximum exposure to our junior talents. Going by the plans, A K Bansal was appointed as coach of this developmental team and a camp was held in Sonipat," Carvalho said.
"There seems to be a clear case of misunderstanding and miscommunication. We were in Australia; no one from the committee contacted me or any of the officials. When Zafar Iqbal called to say that a fax is being sent to the hotel, we were at the verge of leaving the hotel to the airport to return home," he said.
"Even R K Shetty was not to join the team to Malaysia as per the original plan since there is a wedding in his family."
He also expressed surprise that the committee members were not aware about the presence of Ramesh Parameswaran as manager-cum-observer of the Indian team in Malaysia.
"Besides, Tushar and Baljit have sought leave to write their final year graduation exams," Carvalho said.