1975 World Cup winner Harcharan calls for patience : The Tribune India

1975 World Cup winner Harcharan calls for patience



Tribune News Service

Indervir Grewal

Bhubaneswar, January 23

Defeats are a part of the game and the Indian team needs support and not persecution, said World Cup winner Harcharan Singh.

“These things happen in sport. We should not start persecuting the team. Instead, we must hold their hands,” said Harcharan, who won gold at the 1975 World Cup and bronze at the 1972 Olympics.

“We should not overreact. When we won the Olympics bronze in 2021, we went overboard with the celebrations. Now we are doing the same,” he added.

Harcharan said that the Indian fans should realise that Tokyo was a rare success. “We must accept that we are between fifth and eighth in the ranking bracket. The Olympics bronze was a flash in the pan,” he added.

Harcharan recollected how the fans reacted when India first started slipping down the international ladder. “The players in the 1968 Olympics team hid their bronze medals when they landed in India,” he said.

The 1968 Olympics was the first time India had finished outside the top-two. “In 1972, when we returned with a bronze, they would not even consider it as a medal,” he said.

That high level of expectations has followed the Indian team over the decades. Harcharan warned that this was not the time for rash decisions. “Harmanpreet Singh is still one of our best players in the team. Just because he has failed once, we cannot throw him out. Even the coach (Graham Reid), he is the same person who got us the Olympics medal,” he said.

Germany, South Korea enter quarters

Bhubaneswar: South Korea stunned 2016 Olympics champions Argentina in the penalty shootout to book a quarterfinal berth, while Germany also reached the last-eight stage after an easy 5-1 win over France in the FIH Hockey World Cup here today. The South Koreans, who had finished third in Pool B, won 3-2 in the penalty shootout after the two sides were locked 5-5 in regulation time in an entertaining and high-scoring crossover match at the Kalinga Stadium. South Korea remained the only Asian country in the quarterfinals and will face Pool C toppers the Netherlands on Wednesday. pti

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