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Hockey Coach Baldev Singh Suspended (10/3/2007)
--K. Arumugam

Last fortnight the Indian Women Hockey Federation convened an extra-ordinary Executive Committee meeting in New Delhi. They deliberated the issue of suspending Haryana based hockey coach Baldev Singh for his alleged ‘foul’ language used against one of the IWHF staff / official.

It is learnt Baldev Singh, an officer in the Sports Department, government of Haryana, has been debarred from taking part in any of the IWHF activities for life time. That’s why perhaps he was not seen around when the Junior Nationals were held in Gwalior early this month. However, his team Haryana won the Junior Nationals title there.

On Friday, his team again successfully defended the Junior Nehru title in style, without losing a single match. He was also felicitated on that by the organizers, Nehru Hockey Tournament Society, for his work towards building a strong team such as the one he has in Shabad, a small town about 100 km from Delhi.

Baldev however claims he heard of this development, but hastens to add he did not receive any communication to this effect from the IWHF.

He further clarified if what he hears from so many people are true, he will not hesitate taking recourse to legal courts. ‘But, let them first communicate with me, instead of telling so to everyone except me”, he said sarcastically during the Nehru tournament.

IWHF could not be contacted for verification of the facts.

Baldev has produced about 40 internationals in the span of last 15 years who represented India in all age groups. His State team even once jointly won the Senior National Championship. Besides grooming the rural talent, he also takes care of welfare of these underprivileged girls and help them getting jobs. His products include such stars as Surinder Kaur, Jasjeet Kaur, Suman Bala… to quote a few.

In view of his contribution to women hockey, the nation deserves to know what exactly transpired between him and the IWHF and whether he was given a fair chance to place his side of the story.

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