Indian hockey teams slam ex-coach Marijne for allegations against Manpreet; set to take legal action
The men's and women's hockey teams of India are set to take legal action against former coach Sjoerd Marijne and publishing house HarperCollins India after the Dutchman's accusation on Manpreet Singh.
In his upcoming book 'Will Power - The Inside Story of the Incredible Turnaround in Indian Women's Hockey, Marijne wrote that during the 2018 Commonwealth Games that senior player Manpreet asked a player "to stop playing well" so that his friends could get in the team.
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It resulted in the men's and women's teams issuing a joint statement, stating that the former India coach levelled the allegation against Manpreet for the publicity of his book.
"We have come together to state our deep disappointment in his (Marijne's) exploitation of our personal information and false accusations. He has used his time coaching us for commercial gain to sell his book at the cost of our reputations.
"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 players said in the joint statement.
"We are in the process of pursuing legal remedies against Mr. Sjoerd Marijne and the publishers of the book in question, Harper Collins."
Both the teams said if such an incident had indeed taken place, Marijne should have reported the matter to either Hockey India or his erstwhile employer, Sports Authority of India, which he didn't.
"We would like to collectively question Mr. Sjoerd Marijne, that if any of the claimed incidences took place under his watch there should be a 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 the complaint," the statement read.
The teams said, by bringing such false and fabricated allegations, Marijne has questioned the integrity of the players.
"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," the statement said.
Marijne coached the Indian men's hockey team for nine months before he was sacked following a poor performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast.
He later took charge of the women's team and guided it to a historic fourth-place finish at last year's Tokyo Olympics.
(Inputs from PTI)
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