India women's hockey coach Janneke Schopman resigns after alleging unequal treatment

Schopman's resignation brings an end to a tumultuous period that began with the team's failure to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Following the tournament, it sparked criticism towards the Dutch coach, who took over after the Tokyo Olympics where the team finished fourth.

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Courtesy: IANS

Janneke Schopman, head coach of the Indian women's hockey team, has resigned from her position. She cited a lack of "value and respect" and alleged preferential treatment towards the men's team by Hockey India (HI).

Hockey India confirms Schopman's resgination

In a media release, Hockey India said, "The Dutch coach submitted her resignation to Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey after the conclusion of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team’s outing in the home leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League in Odisha."

Schopman's resignation brings an end to a tumultuous period that began with the team's failure to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Following the tournament, it sparked criticism towards the Dutch coach, who took over after the Tokyo Olympics where the team finished fourth.

Schopman felt 'Undervalued'

The tipping point seemed to be a recent interaction with the media, where the emotional Schopman expressed feeling "alone" and "not valued" within the Indian hockey setup. She specifically pointed to differences in treatment between herself and the men's coach, as well as between the women's and men's teams in general.

Schopman's tenure, which began in 2021, saw the team win 38 of 74 matches, draw 17, and lose 19. The Asian Champions Trophy gold medal in 2022 was a highlight of her tenure, but the Olympic qualification failures ultimately cast a shadow over her time in charge.

What next?

The search for a new coach to lead the women's team toward the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics will now begin, amidst lingering questions about the concerns raised by Schopman regarding equality and support within the organization.