Charlesworth quits Indian hockey
The Aussie coach leaves after just four months, citing flaws in the Indian system.
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2008 08:37 GMT
Ric Charlesworth says Indian hockey must face up
to its deficiencies [GALLO/GETTY]

Ric Charlesworth, Aussie field hockey legend, has resigned from his post of technical advisor with Indian hockey and flown back to Australia, according to officials in New Delhi.

Charlesworth, 54, quit just four months after being given the task to revive Indian hockey after the eight-time Olympic champions failed to qualify for the Summer Games for the first time.

"Ric has written to us that he does not want to continue," Randhir Singh, Indian Olympic Association secretary-general, said.

Aslam Sher Khan, who heads the ad hoc committee running the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), said Charlesworth was not happy with the way the game was being run in the country.

"He was not too happy with the system in India and preferred to resign," Khan, a former international, said.

"We tried to convince him to stay but he seemed to have made up his mind."

Commitment to change

Charlesworth, who came to India as part of an initiative by the sport's world governing body to revive hockey in the country, blamed Indian officials for the current mess.

"There must be a commitment to change," the coach told AFP.

"[Indian hockey] has a long way to go in both administration and the management and coaching of the teams.

"But officials must admit to the problems before anything else. Facing up to the deficiencies presently in place is step one, and is still not evident to me."

Charlesworth played in four Olympics between 1972-1988, missing the Western-boycotted Moscow Games in 1980, and was part of the Australian team that won the World Cup in London in 1986.

After retiring in 1988, he began coaching and shaped the Australian women's squad, nicknamed the Hockeyroos, into one of the most formidable teams in the sport.

The multi-faceted Charlesworth, a doctor by profession, was also a member of Australia's parliament for 10 years until 1993 and played first-class cricket for Western Australia.

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