AIFF official accused of physically assaulting women football players in drunken state; Sports Ministry reacts

Sports    30-Mar-2024
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New Delhi, Mar 31: In a shocking development, a few women footballers have complained of physical assault against AIFF executive committee member Deepak Sharma in a hotel room during the Indian Women's League (IWL) 2 in Goa on Thursday, March 28.
anurag thakur deepak sharma women footballers physical assault

Reports suggest that two players complained against AIFF members. They belong to a Himachal Pradesh-based club Khad FC and accused Sharma of slapping and assaulting them in a drunken state after which the Goa Football Association (GFA) and AIFF both acknowledged the registration of the complaint.

Sharma is the general secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Football Association and deputy chairman of the AIFF’s competitions committee.

In their complaint, the players alleged that they had gone to their rooms after dinner to boil eggs. This angered Deepak Sharma who stormed into their rooms, slapping and assaulting them physically, according to the women footballers who were backed by three witnesses. They also claimed that he was drinking in front of them.

The GFA intervened as the players suggested that Sharma had a habit of drinking and getting intoxicated even during the team travels, openly drinking in front of the players and it got escalated on Thursday reaching to the extreme of assault. The GFA filed a complaint with the Mapusa Police Station.

Meanwhile, Sharma has reportedly refuted any such claims saying that he only pulled a hand and was sober.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has also reacted to this unfortunate development. "The ministry of Sports has taken a serious note of an alleged physical assault upon women footballers by an official during the ongoing Indian Women's League in Goa. All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been directed to take quick action and ensure the safety and security of our footballers. The ministry has further directed AIFF to take strong legal action and inform the ministry about actions taken. The safety and security of players are our utmost priority," he said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the five-team IWL 2 will conclude in Goa on Saturday. Khad FC will take on City Bahadurgarh FC, who will be fielding just eight players with 12 of them leaving all of a sudden for the Haryana State Senior Women's Championship.