Hockey India on Wednesday sacked the chief coach of the men’s hockey team in the aftermath of a disappointing 2018.

The decision to remove the 25th coach of the men’s national team in as many years was announced in a carefully worded statement which says,

“With a vision and emphasis on building a strong player base ahead of the 2021 Junior World Cup and 2020, 2024 Olympic games, Hockey India High Performance and Development Committee met on Monday, 7 January 2019 and recommended to reassign Dronacharya Awardee Harendra Singh as the coach for the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team”.

It sure looks like a demotion wrapped in the words of a promotion.

Four years ago, he was appointed as Indian Junior Hockey team coach and lead them to 2016 World Cup title. He was then assigned as the Indian Women’s Hockey team coach in 2017 and subsequently promoted to men’s team. But unfortunately, he couldn’t improve the situation much.

The Indian Men’s Hockey team lost to Australia in Champions Trophy final for the second successive year and the next shocker came with the semi-final exit of India against Malaysia in the Asian Games. To make the matters worse India quit without a medal in the Worlds losing to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.

No replacement had been named yet for Singh while Hockey India will invite applications for the position of the chief coach.