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Indian hockey women's team coach Janneke Schopman resigns after differential treatment remark

Janneke Schopman recently made claims over not being valued and respected by her Hockey India employers. She has resigned from the post, Hockey India confirmed. "Janneke Schopman, Chief Coach of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team, resigned from her post today," HI wrote in a statement.

Varun Malik Edited By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Updated on: February 23, 2024 21:32 IST
Janneke Schopman
Image Source : IANS Janneke Schopman.

The Indian women's hockey team head coach Janneke Schopman has resigned days after speaking against the treatment she received from Hockey India. Schopman recently said that she felt that is not 'valued and respected' by her Hockey India employers and felt 'alone for the last two years'.

Hockey India confirmed her resignation through a statement. "Janneke Schopman, Chief Coach of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team, resigned from her post today. The Dutch coach submitted her resignation to Hockey India President Padma Shri Dr Dilip Tirkey after the conclusion of Indian Women’s Hockey Team’s outing in the home leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League in Odisha," the Indian body said in a statement.

The governing body of the sport in India said that it would be looking for a new coach to help the team prepare for the  Women’s World Cup 2026 and Los Angeles Olympics 2028.

"She had taken over the reins from former Chief Coach Sjoerd Marine under whose tutelage India finished in a historic fourth position at the Tokyo Olympics. At the back of the disappointment at the recent Olympic Qualifiers, her resignation has paved the way for Hockey India to look for a suitable Chief Coach for the Women’s Hockey Team who could prepare the Indian Team for the next Women’s World Cup in 2026 and Los Angeles Olympics 2028. It is time to begin a fresh chapter in Indian women’s hockey with the players progress being at the centre of our focus," Hockey India further added.

Recently, Schopman claimed that she did not get valued and respected and also said that the women's team gets a different treatment as compared to the men's team. "Very hard, very hard. Because, you know, I come from a culture where women are respected and valued. I don’t feel that here," she said on dealing with officials as quoted by the Indian Express. She had also opened on her future with the team. “Maybe, despite the fact that I know it’s tough. But like I said, I love the girls and I see so much potential. But it is very hard for me as an individual. 

She was the analytical coach from 2020 onwards and took the head coach's role after Marine resigned following the successful Tokyo Olympics, where the Indian women's team finished fourth. "Even when I was the assistant coach some people wouldn’t even look at me or wouldn’t acknowledge me or wouldn’t respond and then you become the chief coach and all of a sudden people are interested in you. I struggled a lot with that," she added.

"I look at the difference at how men’s coaches are treated… between me and the men’s coach, or the girls and the men’s team, just in general. They (the women players) never complain and they work so hard. I shouldn’t speak for them so I won’t. I love them. I think they work so hard, they do what I ask, they wanna learn, wanna do new things. But for me personally, coming from the Netherlands, having worked in the USA, this country is extremely difficult as a woman, coming from a culture where, yeah, you can have an opinion and it’s valued. It’s really hard," she said on the difference between men's and women's teams.

The Indian women's team has failed to qualify for the Paris Olympics as they lost the FIH Olympic Qualifier third-fourth place match to Japan 0-1.


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