Ajitpal Singh hits out at Brasa

Kolkata: Olympian and Indian selector
Ajitpal Singh on Monday hit out at national team coach Jose Brasa
and said the Spaniard`s comments were baseless in an effort to
create a controversy ahead of this year`s Commonwealth Games.

He further said that India have a good chances to finish
on the podium in the CWG which will be held in the capital
from October 3-14.

Brasa had claimed that SAI and Hockey India officials
ill-treated him after appointing him as the chief coach in May
last year.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a Bengal Hockey
Association function on the National Sports Day, the former
India captain said, "He (Brasa) has this habit of making
baseless statements ahead of any big event. He wants to create
a controversy, he had done a similar thing ahead of the World
Cup earlier.

"As far as his comments were concerned, Brasa was always
given a freehand with a monthly salary of Rs 7 lakh with a
family accommodation. In team selection, Brasa always had a
say and we can show you his signatures also. So how can he say
that he was treated like a slave? He is lying," India`s only
World Cup (1975) winning captain said.

Asked whether Brasa should be removed as the India coach,
the bronze medal winning 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich
Olympian said, "It`s not me to decide. But if India are not
getting success after spending so much, then what`s the need
to keep him as the coach?"

On India`s chances at the CWG, Singh said Aussies are the
favourites, "But India have chances to finish on the podium
along with countries like England, New Zealand, Canada and
Malaysia who all are on level par."

Singh also condemned the incident of e-mail leak of the
team for the CWG.

"This is really shocking, it must have been done from
somebody among the members present in the meeting," the Indian
selector said.

As a matter of fact, the composition of India`s hockey
team was leaked through an anonymous mail minutes after the
selection committee meeting in Pune yesterday.

The team was picked by a selection committee comprising
Ajitpal, Col Balbir Singh, B P Govinda and Zafar Iqbal and was
attended by chief coach Brasa and assistant coach Harendra

The team, as per the mail, has only one goalkeeper in
Chetri, five defenders (Dhananjay Mahadik, Sardar Singh,
Prabodh Tirkey, Gurbaj Singh, Sandeep Singh), six midfielders
(Arjun Halappa, Vikram Pillay, Ravi Pal, Bharat, Sarvanjit
Singh, Danish Mujtaba) and four forwards (Rajpal Singh, Tushar
Khandker, Shivendra Singh, Dharamvir Singh).

The notable omission being that of the veteran striker
Prabhjot Singh.

But the Indian selector said Prabhjot was out of the
Indian team for last few months.

"Prabhjot has been out for about last six months. The
team has been selected purely on basis of the performance", he