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 March 2, 2002 | 0915 IST

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Indian hockey coach D'Souza sacked

Indian hockey chief coach Cedric D'Souza has been relieved of his services with immediate effect.

The Indian Hockey Federation, early Saturday morning, asked assistant coach C R Kumar to take charge of the team, currently going through a harrowing time at the 10th hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

It is learnt that IHF secretary general K Jyothikumaran conveyed the IHF's decision to team manager K G S Alva, who in turn informed D'Souza.

D'Souza's sacking comes in wake of the team's poor showing in the World Cup, where it has lost three of the four matches it has played thus far. The team lost to Korea, Malaysia and England after drawing with Japan in their opening match of the tournament.

India take on Cuba later today.

D'Souza, who had previously coached the Indian team for the 1994 Sydney World Cup and 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where it finished fifth and eighth respectively, took over the current team in January 2001 and guided it through the World Cup qualifiers, where India finished fifth and qualified for the ongoing tournament, and the Champions Challenge, which India won.

After the Atlanta Olympics, the IHF appointed him Executive Director (Planning and Coaching).

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