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SAI, HI fail to retain Walsh

SAI, HI fail to retain Walsh

New Delhi: Indian hockey chief coach Terry Walsh, who was in talks with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to get a new contract, Tuesday said the meeting between him and the nodal agency did not yield the desired results but is optimistic that he will receive a new proposal this weekend which agrees to his terms and conditions.

Tuesday marked the last day of Walsh's tenure. The Australian, who resigned last month, had demanded more autonomy in operations of the national programme like working from home (Perth) when not on duty.

"As of last evening, I ceased my role with the national programme. We had reached an impasse in proceedings regarding my involvement. But there may be a way forward. This must be finalised between Hockey India (HI) and myself," Walsh, who guided India to an Asian Games gold after 16 years, said here.

"I am still hoping for resolution to this situation in the near future. Much has been discussed today and I need a few days to gather my thoughts," added Walsh, who after resigning was serving a one-month notice period.

SAI had appointed a six-member committee to study Walsh's proposals, and it held a marathon six-hour meeting Monday. The committee also met Tuesday to deliberate further.

The committee comprises Indian hockey legends Ajit Pal Singh, Ashok Kumar and Zafar Iqbal, India's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans, SAI Executive Director (Teams) Sudhir Setia and HI CEO Elena Norman.

Walsh also met Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Tuesday in an effort to end the imbroglio.

"Walsh had a meeting with the sports minister today along with the committee. The minister applauded Walsh's recent performance and believed that he is the right man to take Indian hockey forward," Setia said.

"The minister patiently listened to Mr. Walsh's proposals and has agreed to all of them in principle and has asked the committee to find more details. However, Mr. Walsh stated that he needs a few days off to go back to Australia. He will then have a re-look at all the proposals offered in a positive manner towards renewal of his contract."

Walsh, who was appointed in October 2013, said that he hopes to receive the new contract.

"It's (new contract proposal) a combination from SAI, HI and the ministry. It's a piece which I have not seen, which we have only discussed and when that comes across my desk, I would have a look at that. I hope to receive it in next 24-48 hours," the 60-year-old coach pointed out.

It has been learnt that Walsh wants more say on selection of players and support staff.

"What we are talking about is the ability to be able to move forward and get the SAI, HI and government together. More importantly we are able to take the things forward in the right direction," Walsh said.

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