New Delhi: Questioning Jose Brasa`s credentials as a top hockey coach and accusing him of fanning groupism in the team, four national selectors have recommended the Sports Ministry to immediately discontinue his services as the coach of the national team.
In a letter to SAI Joint Secretary Pravir Krishan, Ajitpal Singh, Balbir Singh, BP Govinda and Zafar Iqbal said that the reins of the national team be handed to Harendra Singh who resigned as national coach in the wake of India`s semifinal loss to Malaysia in the Asian Games.
Brasa`s contract as the chief coach expired today and he is leaving the country, knowing fully well that his services will not be continued.
"We seriously doubt his ability as a top notch coach and feel that he cannot impart with more meaningful inputs to the team in terms of critical planning and strategy. He, however, can be useful for development at grassroot level particularly in the basic fundamentals," the four selectors said in a signed letter.
"We feel that the coach should have the ability to impart training both theoretically and practically. Mr Brasa only possesses blackboard knowledge. The coach must be in a position to demonstrate practically on the filed of play and show and guide the players to correct their mistakes besides teaching them new and modern tactics," they said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the media.
The four selectors, former stalwarts of the game in their times, said the senior players of the team and the support staff also feel that Brasa has little to offer for them.
"We discussed this matter with the senior players and support staff who also opined that his knowledge is limited with regard to the finetuning and gameplan to successfully counter the opponents in crunch situations. This was also observed during the World Cup and the Europe Tours in 2009 and 2010," the letter said.
"The cross section of the senior players have told us that Mr Brasa has nothing much to offer now as he has exhausted his technical knowledge.
"So, we strongly recommend that the services of Mr Brasa be discontinued immediately in the best interest of Indian hockey and the responsibility of the team be handed over to Mr Harendra Singh with the existing coaching and support staff," the four selectors wrote in the letter.
The selectors also felt that Brasa fanned groupism in the team and broke the team spirit which affected the performance.
"It is a known fact that on the eve of every major competition he has created bad blood within the team which has led to disharmony amongst the players which resulted in poor performances. The World Cup 2010 at Delhi is a glaring example where his off the field interferences broke the team spirit and fanned groupism.
"We are given to understand by other coaching staff that of late Mr Brasa is not taking interest towards the improvement of team and arriving very late at the coaching ground. He always avoids discussing on issues relating to gameplans or strategies with the national and other coaches attached with the team prior to matches and also keeps the playing team composition all to himself which leads to uncertainty amongst the players," the letter said.
The four selectors said the national team did not see any improvement in Brasa`s 15-month tenure, failing to beat any top side in the world.
"During his 15-month tenure, the team has played 45 international matches including the World Cup, two Europe tours, FIH Champions Challenge, Azlan Shah Cup and Test series. The team won 19 matches (mostly against lower ranked teams like Canada, France and Belgium). The team has lost 17 matches while it drew nine.
"India was unable to beat any of the leading teams and lost to Australia, Germany, Holland, England and Spain during the period by big margins. There appears to be no improvement in the performance of the team since his appointment despite the given opportunities and unprecedented exposure to the team," they said.