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India sacks field hockey coach for poor results

July 9, 2013

NEW DELHI (AP) — India field hockey coach Michael Nobbs was sacked on Tuesday following poor performances over the past year.

“There were some issues with his coaching style that were not getting us the desired results,” Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra said.

India finished last at the London Olympics and has yet to qualify for next year’s World Cup, finishing sixth in the World League at Rotterdam last month.

India can still qualify by winning the Asia Cup at Ipoh, Malaysia, next month.

India’s high-performance manager, Roelant Oltmans of the Netherlands, will coach the team until a replacement is found for Nobbs, who was removed two years into his five-year contract.

Nobbs was the fourth foreign coach after Spaniard Jose Brasa, Australian Ric Charlesworth and German Gerhard Rach, who were hired in a bid to change India’s dwindling fortunes in a sport that is still considered by many as the “national game.”

India has struggled at world level since the introduction of synthetic surfaces in the 1970s.

India won its only World Cup in 1975 and the last of its eight Olympic gold medals at the boycott-marred Moscow Games in 1980.

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