Twitter reacts as Janneke Schopman resigns from Women's hockey team head coach

Janneke Schopman resigned from her post on February 23, days after making allegations of differential treatment by the administrators.

Janneke Schopman in a file photo (image credits- twitter@vinayakkm)
By Soumya | Feb 24, 2024 | 4 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Indian women’s hockey team coach Janneke Schopman resigned from her post on February 23, days after making allegations of differential treatment by the administrators of the sport in the country. In a statement by Hockey India, the governing body said that Schopman had submitted her resignation to HI President Dilip Tirkey after the conclusion of the women’s team’s outing in the home leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League.

The governing body said that they’re on the lookout for a new coach, who would prepare the team for the Women’s World Cup in 2026 and the 2028 Olympics.

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“Janneke Schopman, Chief Coach of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team, resigned from her post today.”

“The Dutch coach submitted her resignation to Hockey India President Padma Shri Dr Dilip Tirkey after the conclusion of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team’s outing in the home leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League in Odisha.” “She had taken over the resigns from former Chief Coach Sjoerd Marine under whose tutelage India finished in a historic fourth position at the Tokyo Olympics.”

“At the back of the disappointment at the recent Olympic Qualifiers, her 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 Indian Team for the next Women’s World Cup in 2026 and Los Angeles Olympics 2028.”

“It is time to begin a fresh chapter in Indian women’s hockey with the players’ progress being at the centre of our focus,” read the statement.

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Why did the Dutch Olympian decide to step down?

Schopman broke down during an interaction with the media on Sunday after India defeated the USA via shootout in an FIH Pro League match in Rourkela on Sunday. In the teary-eyed interaction, the coach alleged differential treatment from multiple stakeholders of the sport.

“Because I come from a culture where women are respected and valued. I don’t feel that here. From not very many people – and I do feel people working here on the ground are amazing from Hockey India. But I feel it’s so hard,” Schopman said, as quoted by The New Indian Express.

“I look at the difference in 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 never complain and they work so hard. I am not saying, I don’t know, I don’t know why and 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 but for me coming from the Netherlands, having worked in the USA, this country 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,” she added.

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Schopman took over the head coach role after India’s fourth-place finish in the Tokyo Olympics. Initially appointed as the analytical coach for the Indian women’s hockey team in January 2020, he transitioned to the head coach role following the Tokyo Olympics. Her elevation came after Sjoerd Marijne, the previous head coach, declined a contract extension, paving the way for Schopman’s leadership.

Under the guidance of Schopman, the Indian women’s hockey team has experienced a rollercoaster of emotions and performances. The team faced a significant setback by missing out on a berth in the Paris Olympics. This disappointment came after a series of commendable achievements, including bronze medals at the 2022 Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, a third-place finish in the 2021-22 Pro League, and clinching the first-ever FIH Women’s Nations Cup in 2022.

How did Twitter react to Schopman’s sudden resignation?

The sudden news of Schopman has rattled the entire Twitter community. Moreover, Schopman’s decision came just a few days after the Indian Women’s team failed to qualify for the Paris Olympics. Naturally, there has been a plethora of reactions on social media in an attempt to connect the dots which led to the resignation of Schopman. A few of them are:

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