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Rajinder not sacked, says Gill

July 24, 2004 19:57 IST
Last Updated: July 24, 2004 20:18 IST

Five days after chief coach Rajinder Singh's recall from Germany, Indian Hockey Federation chief K P S Gill maintained he has not been sacked. Gill hinted in New Delhi that he could make a comeback.

"I found the word 'sacked' unfortunate. Who said that he has been sacked? We may re-induct anyone in future. Basically it was to see which combination of coaches will be more cohesive and interactive," he said at a press conference.

The federation is yet to give a reason for recalling Rajinder from the pre-Olympic training programme in Germany, and Gill parried questions on the subject.

"Are we going to look at the Olympics or look at other factors? I am asking this question to you," Gill replied, when asked what prompted the federation to appoint Gerhard Rach in Rajinder's place three weeks before the Olympics.

The IHF chief denied Rajinder's reported differences with some players as the reason behind the move. He termed as 'concocted' a report that he made around Rs 20 lakh during training in Arizona, United States, which led to his fallout with some team members.

Gill spoke about the team's composition for the Olympics and the players' preparation for the mega event. "The selection process was difficult as there is very little difference between the players. But the selection was unanimous. We discussed about every position in detail and for hours. The German coaches think this is the best possible team."
On the team's preparations, he said, "There is tremendous will in the team. The coaches are trying to do their best. Everyone is totally focused.

"They are working on the weaknesses noticed in the last two tournaments. The team has made remarkable progress in defence of penalty corners and their execution, cohesion between forwards and mid-fielders and goalkeeping.

"Unfortunately, the Dusseldorf tournament could not be televised or else people could have seen the difference in performance of the team in Holland and Germany."
Gill said the team would stay in Germany till August 8, before proceeding to Athens the next day.

"We expect good results in Athens," he said.

The IHF chief said with the Test series against Pakistan coming soon after the Olympics, a camp for players would start next month.
"The players who could not make it to the Olympic team will be asked to attend a training camp, starting next month. The camp will be for about 20 players," he said.


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