Updated February 9th, 2024 at 16:40 IST

'What would you do?': India coach Craig Fulton responds to rape allegation against Varun Kumar

Indian Hockey Team coach Craig Fulton responds to the rape allegations against team defender Varun Kumar and how they will move ahead on the FIH Pro league.

Varun Kumar | Image:Hockey India

The Indian Hockey fandom was shaken to the core after allegations surrounding an Indian player surfaced. Indian Defender Varun Kumar has been dealing with rape allegations, which has become a colossal setback for the team. The Indian Hockey team will move forward without the defender after he pulled himself out of the competition. The incident has sparked a significant uproar and could be a troubling aspect ahead of the Paris Olympics. Amid the turmoil, the Hockey India chief coach has addressed the scenario. 

Also Read: Accused of rape, Varun Kumar withdraws from FIH Pro League, takes urgent leave to fight legal battle


Coach Craig Fulton breaks silence over rape allegations against Varun Kumar

Team India Hockey coach Craig Fulton has presented his thoughts on the rape allegations against defender Varun Kumar and termed it as a distraction for the team. The coach added that Varun's absence from the FIH Pro League would be termed as an injury setback.


"If you take it from outside and, of course, it's a challenging situation but at the same time, you've got a level of professionalism and then from a start point of view we have to have our plans in place," Fulton said during a pre-event press conference.

"So, if you took it as an injury, someone now is injured. What would you do? What are the plans in place in the event of an injury? So, Varun is not here. What is the plan? There always is a plan for anyone that gets injured for a long time... (be it) striker, mid-field or defence," he added. 

Indian Hockey defender Varun Kumar in action | Image: X/@varunhockey

Craig Fulton went on to say that the situation is arduous and not ideal, but they must move forward and have devised a strategy for doing so.

Also Read: FIH Pro League: Indian women aim to turn the tide against USA


Varun Kumar, an Arjuna award holder, pulled out of the event after being accused of rape. He is looking into legal alternatives to address the accusation, which he termed a "calculated attempt to extort money" from him.

The Indian Hockey Team is scheduled to take on Spain in the tournament opener on Saturday.


(With PTI Inputs)


Published February 9th, 2024 at 16:40 IST