Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sjoerd Marijne book on Indian hockey teams causes controversy ahead of publication

India’s hockey players could take legal action against former coach Sjoerd Marijne following material released ahead of the publication of his upcoming book on the national side.

In the Dutchman’s book ‘Will Power – The Inside Story of the Incredible Turnaround in Indian Women’s Hockey’, Marijne writes that Manpreet Singh asked a player “to stop playing well” so that his friends could get in the team.

Delhi’s High Court has also granted an ad-interim injunection against the publication of the book after Gurjit Kaur claimed it contained confidential information on her medical condition.

India men and women teams issued a joint statement last week following excerpts released on Manpreet.

The joint statement read: “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.

“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 teams further said that they didn’t find any record of allegations filed with the Hockey India and the Sports Authority of India at the time as if the incidences claimed by the Dutch coach had been true, there would have been some record of it.

“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.”

Marijne was in charge of the men’s hockey team for nine months he took over the role for women’s team, leading the team to an historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics.

Published by HarperCollins India, the book is set to hit the stands on Sep 21.

“Setbacks have made me stronger in life and my willpower has helped me be the person I am now,” Marijne has said about the book.

“I hope this book will also help readers follow their dreams– be it individually or collectively as a team.”

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