A month after his controversial exit from India, former India hockey coach Terry Walsh has claimed that USA Field Hockey (USAFH) has ‘confirmed there were no financial issues during his tenure as the technical director’ there.
Walsh left the country under contentious circumstances after being accused of financial impropriety by Hockey India (HI) president Narinder Batra. It was alleged the Australian was involved in misconduct to the tune of $176,000 when he was in charge of USA Hockey.
Consequently, his contract was not renewed by Hockey India, who are now looking for a new coach.
Walsh, however, said he was cleared of any wrongdoing by USAFH. In a statement, his lawyer Antonio Sarabia of California-based IP Business Law said they have received a written communication from USAFH to this effect. “We are glad to report that the attorney for USA Field Hockey (Mr. Steve Smith) wrote, on December 10, 2014: ‘Finally, the assertion that USAFH criticised Walsh’s failure to obtain a software license for Sportstec software directly from Sportstec on behalf of USAFH is simply incorrect.’ This confirms that there were no financial issues related to the services rendered by Mr. Walsh for USAFH,” Sarabia said.
Last month, Walsh resigned as India coach, seeking a renegotiation of his contract with Hockey India and the Sports Authority of India. He had demanded more freedom in decision-making and permission to work from home for a longer period. While the government was willing to discuss most issues, Batra decided to part ways with him citing documents he had received from USAFH about the alleged financial irregularities committed by Walsh while working with them. Walsh had vehemently denied the allegations but Batra would have none of it. Consequently, after returning to Australia, he demanded an explanation from USAFH and threatened to take legal action in India to clear his name.
Despite getting the clean-chit, Walsh will not be returning to India as coach. “He could not provide necessary explanation when it was required. This (statement by USAFH) does not hold any ground now. For us, the Walsh issue is over,” Batra said.
Under the 61-year-old’s tutelage, India enjoyed one of its most successful years in recent times after winning the Asian Games gold and the Commonwealth Games silver. They also won their first-ever test series in Australia in November, which eventually turned out to be Walsh’s last assignment with the team.