David John axed from selection panel

Hockey India (HI) on Tuesday decided to drop its High Performance Director David John from the men’s senior team selection committee for showing “bias” against a few senior players.

Expressing his displeasure at John discussing with the media India’s disappointing performance iat the Asian Games and its likely fall-outs on some players, newly-elected HI president Mushtaque Ahmad decided to remove him from the selection panel.

In a letter to secretary-general Rajinder Singh, the HI chief said John would not be part of the selection committee which will pick the Indian team for the World Cup in November-December.

“I am not happy with David John commenting on individual players who played in the Asian Games. As a matter of policy/principle we do not allow discussion on individual players in the public domain and John by discussing that has broken all protocols,” Mushtaque, who was elected HI chief on Monday, said.

“Observing the bias of David John against a few players of the senior men’s team, I have decided that John will not be a part of the senior men’s selection committee for the World Cup. This is to ensure fairness in selection without any prior bias against anyone in anyone’s mind,” he said.

Mushtaque also asked Rajinder to report to him after discussing with John what he had done in the last two years for the development of Indian hockey at grassroots level, on the identification of academies and development of coaching programme for Indian coaches.

A top HI source, however, said that “as of now” John’s contract, which runs till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is safe.

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