I come from a culture where women are respected and valued. I don't feel that here: Janneke Schopman

The Dutch coach replaced Sjoerd Marijne in 2021, who led the team to a historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Payal Debnath
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I come from a culture where women are respected and valued. I don't feel that here: Janneke Schopman

Janneke Schopman has resigned as Indian Women's Hockey Team coach. Image- Scroll.in

Indian women's hockey team head coach Janneke Schopman resigned from her post on Friday, days after creating a stir by claiming that she was not given respect and importance by the national federation. The Dutch coach replaced Sjoerd Marijne in 2021, who led the team to a historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics.

Also Read: FIH Hockey Pro League: Indian Women's Hockey Team ends losing streak with victory over USA

Under Janneke Schopman's guidance, the team's best performance was the title win in the 2023 Asian Champions Trophy. Image- Sportskeeda
Under Janneke Schopman's guidance, the team's best performance was the title win in the 2023 Asian Champions Trophy. Image- Sportskeeda
"I felt alone a lot in the last two years. It has been very hard. Because, I come from a culture where women are respected and valued. I don't feel that here. I look at the difference at how men's coaches are treated between me and the men's coach, or the girls and the men's team, just in general."

Janneke Schopman

The non-qualification led to much criticism of Schopman, who had taken over the reins from Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne after the team had finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics, and the team. Schopman, a former Dutch hockey player, was then the analytical coach. Despite the setback, HI had initially decided to continue with Schopman but her outburst against HI last week after India's Pro League match against US in Rourkela showed that she was pretty much done with the job.

Janneke Schopman's contract was due to expire in August after this year's Paris Olympics, but following her recent critical comments it was expected that she would not continue in the post. The 46-year-old submitted his resignation to Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey after the team's campaign ended in the domestic leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League in Odisha.

"I would like to inform that I am tendering my resignation as the chief coach of the senior women's team by giving Hockey India and SAI one month notice as per my contract agreement. My last working day will be March 23, 2024," Janneke Schopman wrote in her resignation letter.

"My time with the team has been a memorable experience and I will always look back with a sense of gratitude to players and staff especially. I kindly request that all outstanding dues are paid and taken care of before this date, my salary for the months of February and March, the coach education fee as well as the outstanding prize money for last year,"

Hockey India issued a press release on the matter saying, "She made her intentions clear that she doesn't want to continue anymore. The letter has been forwarded to SAI with favourable recommendation,"

"The women's team not making it to the Paris Olympics was a big blow. Every facility, exposure was given to the team and to say that she was not valued and respected was totally baseless," the official added.

The Indian team has performed well under the guidance of Janneke Schopman. During this period the team won 38 out of 74 matches. Played 17 draws and had to face defeat in 19. Under her guidance, the team's best performance was the title win in the 2023 Asian Champions Trophy. However, the biggest disappointment was the Indian women's hockey team not qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

Also Read: FIH Hockey Pro League: Indian Women's Hockey team faces third consecutive loss

HI, in a statement, said, "on the back of the disappointment at Olympic qualifiers, Schopman's resignation has paved the way for Hockey India to look for a suitable chief coach for the women's hockey team who could prepare the team for the 2026 World Cup and 2028 Los Angeles Olympics."

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