Apparently under pressure, former India captain Dilip Tirkey on Friday turned down an offer from the rejuvenated Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to become a part of the four-member national selection committee.
"I am not accepting the appointment as a selector by the IHF. Air India has not given me permission for this," Tirkey said in Bhubaneswar.
"Since I have to abide by what my department (Air India) wants me to do, I am not going to participate as a national selector in the ongoing men's national (at Bhopal)," the Olympian added.
Stating that he received a communication from the IHF regarding his appointment as selector, Tirkey said he has already conveyed to the federation his inability to accept the offer.
Evading a direct reply on the controversies engulfing Indian Hockey in the recent past, Tirkey said, "There are a lot of things. I don't want to get embroiled in the controversy involving IHF and Hockey India."
The Padma Shri awardee said his priority at the moment is providing proper training and coaching to about 25 budding talents in Bhubaneswar.
Former India captain and coach Joaquim Carvalho had on Thursday hit out at Hockey India for preventing Tirkey and Ashish Ballal from performing their role as selectors of the IHF in the ongoing 63rd men's nationals at Bhopal.
In a letter to the Sports Ministry, the former Olympian also accused an Air India Sports Control Board official of preventing the duo from performing their role.