David John resigns as Hockey India’s High Performance Director

Hockey India has accepted David John's resignation. However, Sports Authority of India, who is the official employer, is yet to decide on the matter. 

David John, High performance Director, Hockey India.   -  K. Pichumani

Things never remain static in Indian hockey for long. While the players have been without competition for more than five months and are likely to remain so till the end of 2020, they will now also be without High Performance Director David John. 

With less than a year to go for the re-scheduled Tokyo Olympics, John has cited health and personal reasons to resign. He has written to both Hockey India and Sports Authority of India (SAI) regarding the same. Hockey India has accepted his resignation and reiterated health as the official reason for John’s exit. However SAI, who is the official employer, is yet to decide on the matter. 

John’s contract had been renewed only recently following the Sports Ministry’s decision to extend all foreign coaches’ contracts till September 2021. He had joined in 2016 and this was his second stint with Hockey India, having been with the team as a physiologist in 2011-12.

Neither John nor SAI responded to repeated attempts for confirmation. Speculations abound on reasons for the resignation but insiders say his relations with the top management of HI had gradually deteriorated.

READ: Hockey India holds coaching pathway session for journalists

Interestingly, SAI and Sports Ministry had refused to either accept Roelant Oltmans’ resignation or get a foreign replacement for him as the men’s coach in 2017 despite Hockey India’s insistence. It had led to women’s coach Sjoerd Marijne being moved to coach the men and Harendra Singh given charge of the women.

Analytical coach Chris Ciriello and wife Heide had also left a month back citing visa issues and are currently not with the Indian team in Bengaluru. Ciriello, who also doubled up as the penalty corner coach, is expected to be back but there is no clarity on the if and when of his return.

Meanwhile, after Surender Kumar was admitted to the hospital again following Venous Thrombosis and swelling in his right arm on Thursday evening. Goalkeeper Suraj Karkera was also admitted for malaria on Friday morning. Karkera was the lone male player who stayed back at the SAI Centre during the month-long break last month to avoid the COVID-19 situation back home in Mumbai.

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