Roelant Oltmans is taking every care to avoid 'conflict of interest' as India's hockey coach leading up to the Rio Olympics Games next year, and that is the reason behind him turning down the offer to coach UP Wizards in the Hockey India League (HIL) in the coming season.
Oltmans has been handed over the senior men's team's reins after Hockey India's fallout with Paul van Ass that led to his unceremonious ouster. The High Performance Director will now double up the team's chief coach until the Rio Games.
And the Dutchman wants to take every care so as nobody can accuse him of "favouritism" or bias.
"I have said no to the coaching offer from UP Wizards so as to avoid possible conflict of interest. This I have done because of two simple reasons. Let's say if a player selected in the Olympics core probables list belongs to UP Wizards, then the other players or hockey fans might just accuse me of favouritism," he was quoted as saying by <i>DNA</i>.
"It might attract criticism that I am selecting players from the franchise which I have been associated with. Even if the players from UP Wizards are genuinely good," Oltmans said on the sidelines of a training session at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi," he said.
Oltmans was coach of the UP team last HIL season.
"Another possible reason that influenced my decision was again I could be accused of giving more attention to the players from UP Wizards than other core probables. The players might say that he is giving more attention to the Wizards players and not spending much time with them, or not focusing on them fully. So, I thought it would be better to stay away from the league this time," the Dutch coach added.
"People would again say 'look he is busy making money or investing his time with a franchise when he should be strategising for the Rio'. And yes, I should be utilising that time in framing new strategies, coming up with Plan 'B' or 'C', or giving finishing touches to my ideas. Obviously, I would be travelling to different Indian cities that time, but that would be to identify core probables and oversee their progress," the High Performance Director cum Chief Coach said.
Former India coach Terry Walsh too had been cricitised for taking up coaching role with an HIL franchise while still holding the post of India coach.
Oltmans, however, said he would be there with the UP Wizards think thank at the players' auction on Thursday but it will only be to help them come up with a strong squad.