Indian hockey teams reject allegations made by former coach Sjoerd Marijne towards Manpreet Singh

In his soon-to-be-released book, Sjoerd Marijne has claimed Manpreet Singh had told a youngster to stop playing well in order to get a friend into the team.

FP Sports September 17, 2022 16:20:14 IST
Indian hockey teams reject allegations made by former coach Sjoerd Marijne towards Manpreet Singh

File image of Sjoerd Marijne. Image credit: Twitter/@TheHockeyIndia

The Indian hockey teams, in a joint statement, have strongly denied allegations made by former coach Sjoerd Marijne against current captain Manpreet Singh.

In his upcoming book “Will Power: The Inside Story of the Incredible Turnaround in Indian Women’s Hockey”, the 48-year-old Dutchman has claimed that skipper Manpreet had allegedly told a player to stop playing well in order to get a friend into the team. As per the book excerpt and interview published in The Indian Express, Marijne wrote: “I don’t know if Manpreet had said so as a joke, but it made me so furious.”

The Indian hockey teams, men and women, have strongly refuted this claim by Marijne.

“We have seen in the press today some disturbing allegations being made by the erstwhile Chief Coach of our teams, Mr. Sjoerd Marijne. We have come together to state our deep disappointment in his exploitation of our personal information and false accusations. He has used his time of coaching us for commercial gain to sell his book at the cost of our reputations,” it said in a statement.

“This is a complete breach of trust and his duty of care as a coach. It also leads to all Indian athletes like us to feel vulnerable in such situations.”

The statement also said Hockey India are in the process of “pursuing legal remedies against Mr. Sjoerd Marijne and the publishers of the book.”

“We would like to collectively question Mr. Sjoerd Marijne, that if any of the claimed incidences took place under his watch there should be record of an allegation filed to Hockey India or the Sports Authority of India at the time. On checking with the authorities, we have found no such record of complaint,” the statement added.

“The Indian National men’s and women’s hockey team stand together with each other and will defend our integrity that has been brought to question by him. Our country, team and the sport of hockey are our collective top priority and under no circumstances will we allow for the integrity of any of our team members to be compromised for anyone else’s personal gain. We are in the process of pursuing legal remedies against Mr. Sjoerd Marijne and the publishers of the book in question, Harper Collins.”

Explaining his rationale behind the sensational reveal, Marijne said in the report, “The reason I put this in the book is not personal, but so that people see how it works in a team and how important a good culture is. It’s an example of how it didn’t work for me and the team, and I hope others can learn from this.”

The book highlights the experiences of Marijne when he was appointed the chief coach of the women’s hockey team in 2017. Later in the year, he was moved to the men’s team. In May 2018, he was re-appointed the women’s team coach and took them to a fourth place finish at Tokyo Olympics.

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