Olympian and Indian selector Ajitpal Singh on Sunday hit out at national team coach Jose Brasa and said the Spaniard's comments were baseless in an effort to create a controversy ahead of this year's Commonwealth Games.
He further said that India have a good chances to finish on the podium in the CWG which will be held in the capital from October 3-14.
Brasa had claimed that SAI and Hockey India officials ill-treated him after appointing him as the chief coach in May last year.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a Bengal Hockey Association function on the National Sports Day, the former India captain said, "He (Brasa) has this habit of making baseless statements ahead of any big event. He wants to create a controversy, he had done a similar thing ahead of the World Cup earlier.
"As far as his comments were concerned, Brasa was always given a freehand with a monthly salary of Rs 7 lakh with a family accommodation. In team selection, Brasa always had a say and we can show you his signatures also. So how can he say that he was treated like a slave? He is lying," India's only World Cup (1975) winning captain said.
Asked whether Brasa should be removed as the India coach, the bronze medal winning 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich Olympian said, "It's not me to decide. But if India are not getting success after spending so much, then what's the need to keep him as the coach?"
On India's chances at the CWG, Singh said Aussies are the favourites, "But India have chances to finish on the podium along with countries like England, New Zealand, Canada and Malaysia who all are on level par."
Singh also condemned the incident of e-mail leak of the team for the CWG.
"This is really shocking, it must have been done from somebody among the members present in the meeting," the Indian selector said.
As a matter of fact, the composition of India's hockey team was leaked through an anonymous mail minutes after the selection committee meeting in Pune on Saturday.
The team was picked by a selection committee comprising Ajitpal, Col Balbir Singh, B P Govinda and Zafar Iqbal and was attended by chief coach Brasa and assistant coach Harendra Singh.
The team, as per the mail, has only one goalkeeper in Chetri, five defenders (Dhananjay Mahadik, Sardar Singh, Prabodh Tirkey, Gurbaj Singh, Sandeep Singh), six midfielders (Arjun Halappa, Vikram Pillay, Ravi Pal, Bharat, Sarvanjit Singh, Danish Mujtaba) and four forwards (Rajpal Singh, Tushar Khandker, Shivendra Singh, Dharamvir Singh). The notable omission being that of the veteran striker Prabhjot Singh.
But the Indian selector said Prabhjot was out of the Indian team for last few months.
"Prabhjot has been out for about last six months. The team has been selected purely on basis of the performance", he said.