Updated February 19th, 2024 at 17:34 IST

Janneke Schopman says 'India is extremely difficult': 'I come from a culture where women are valued'

Janneke Schopman became emotional while expressing a lack of respect from Hockey India officials, particularly when questioned about her future.

Janneke Schopman | Image:ANI
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Following their victory over world No.3 Australia, the India women's hockey team delivered another captivating performance, triumphing 2-1 against the United States of America in an FIH Pro League match via a shootout on Sunday.

The regulation period concluded with a 1-1 deadlock, as India's Deepika Kumari scored in the 19th minute and the USA's Ashley Seesa equalized in the 45th minute. In the shootout, Mumtaz Khan and Sonika found the net for India, while Leah Crouse scored for the opposing team.

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Despite the victory, Indian chief coach Janneke Schopman expressed dissatisfaction with her team's inability to secure the win within regulation time, despite dominating for much of the game and earning numerous penalty corners.

Also Read: India women defeat USA via shootout in Hockey Pro League

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Janneke Schopman speaks out her heart

Following the match, Janneke Schopman shared her experience as the chief coach of the Indian women's hockey team. She became emotional while speaking to reporters, expressing a lack of respect from Hockey India officials, particularly when questioned about her future with the team.

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“Maybe, despite the fact that I know it’s tough. But like I said, I love the girls and I see so much potential. But it is very hard for me as an individual. Even when I was the assistant coach some people wouldn’t even look at me or wouldn’t acknowledge me or wouldn’t respond and then you become the chief coach and all of a sudden people are interested in you. I struggled a lot with that,” Janneke Schopman said.

“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. They (the women players) never complain and they work so hard. I shouldn’t speak for them so I won’t. I love them. I think they work so hard, they do what I ask, they wanna learn, wanna do new things,” Schopman added. 

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“But for me personally, coming from the Netherlands, having worked in the USA, this country (India) is extremely difficult as a woman, coming from a culture where, yeah, you can have an opinion and it’s valued. It’s really hard. I just know that when the World Cup didn’t go well for the men’s team, all focus was on them. Since February 2023, all the focus was on the men’s team,” the Indian women's hockey coach said.

“If you asked my family, I should have left after a year. In hindsight, I should have left after the Commonwealth Games because it was too hard for me to manage. For me, what’s really important is that ‘can I do the job myself’ but also, do I get the support that I need? Like I said, the girls are amazing. If the support is really there for them, then I do think the Indian women’s team has a bright future,” Schopman concluded.

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Also Read: India score in final minute to beat Ireland 1-0 in men's FIH Pro League

Following their victory on Sunday, India extended their dominance over the USA in the Pro League, having previously secured a 3-1 win in the Bhubaneswar leg of the tournament. Concluding their Pro League fixtures at home, India recorded three wins and five defeats. Notably, their victories came against the USA twice and once against Australia.

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(With PTI inputs)

 

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Published February 19th, 2024 at 17:25 IST