AIFF closes investigation into alleged physical assault of women players by EC member


The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday said it has closed the investigation into its suspended executive committee member Deepak Sharma for his alleged physical assault of two women players in Goa as the victims “do not wish to pursue the matter any further”. The development comes only a day after the AIFF suspended Sharma until further notice.

In a statement, the AIFF said its Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), which investigated the alleged harassment case recently, was “not in a position to continue the investigation as the alleged victim and the other party do not wish to pursue the matter any further.” “The ICC would not be in a position to continue the investigation as any complaint and/or further information regarding the alleged incident has been denied by the concerned individuals. “In view of the above, the investigation was concluded as withdrawn,” the AIFF said in the statement.

Two footballers of Himachal Pradesh-based Khad FC, taking part in the Indian Women’s Football (IWL) League second division, had alleged that Sharma, the owner of the club, had barged into their room and physically assaulted them on the night of March 28.

On Saturday, the AIFF asked Sharma to refrain from football-related activities till the conclusion of a probe by a panel into his alleged incident. Sharma was arrested by Goa police after the host state association lodged a complaint and later released on bail. Before that, the Emergency Committee of the AIFF comprising president Kalyan Chaubey, vice-president N A Haris and treasurer Kipa Ajay, on Monday took stock of the complaints received from the players against Sharma.

Thereafter, a meeting of AIFF member associations was held on Monday night and “Sharma was called and heard for a few minutes before he was advised to leave the meeting.” In the complaint sent to the AIFF, the two players said, according to sources, that Sharma was mostly in an inebriated state and they were “scared for their lives.” Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had also asked the AIFF to take “quick” and “strong legal action” against the official.

On Tuesday, the AIFF also dissolved the three-member committee formed on March 30 to probe the incident, and instead referred the matter to its Disciplinary Committee.

Published By:

Rounaq Sehrawat

Published On:

Apr 4, 2024

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