John set to be part of team

Pressure from hockey officials eyeing the Olympic squad manager’s position notwithstanding, exercise physiologist David John is all set to be a part of the team bench during the Games here.

John’s initial nomination as team manager had caused controversy in India as several hockey officials criticised the appointment of a foreigner to that position, prompting Hockey India to amend his status to “Stand-in Manager.”

Hockey team officials on Friday said placing exercise physiologist John on the team bench in place of a ‘decorative’ manager is a professional decision. Team officials, not wanting to be identified, said those opposing John’s nomination as team official did not understand the practical aspect of the appointment as it allowed an extra professional on the team bench during the Olympic Games.

Come Monday and John would be on the bench in India’s opening Olympic match against former champions The Netherlands.

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