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Batra, Charlesworth in spat over crowds

A foreign correspondent had told Batra that Charlesworth had had termed the lack of spectators as ‘disgracefull’.

New Delhi | Published: January 18, 2014 4:31:01 am

Australian coach Ric Charlesworth deflected criticism from Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra’s after the latter called Charlesworth a “loose canon” over comments ostensibly made by the former earlier in the tournament. At a press conference a foreign correspondent had told Batra that Charlesworth had had termed the lack of spectators as ‘disgracefull’.
“I don’t react to what Ric Charlesworth says because he is a loose cannon…That man needs some mental and psychological treatment,” Batra had retorted.
Later in the day Charlseworth had smiled while suggesting that “he (Batra) wants patients for his hospital”. Charlesworth had actually termed the lack of crowds “horrible” and not “disgraceful”.
For all the nitpicking over words the fact remains that Charlesworth’s observation is accurate considering the 25000 capacity stadium only had a few hundred occupied seats for Australia’s semifinal loss to Netherlands.
“We will be discussing the matter with HI after the conclusion of the tournament about the inappropriate comments attributed to Mr. Batra about our highly respected coach Charlesworth,” Hockey Australia chief executive Cam Vale said in a statement.

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