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A coach attached with the Indian Under-17 women’s football team has been suspended and called back from Norway for alleged “misconduct” with a minor player during the ongoing training tour to Europe. The Committee of Administrators (CoA), managing the affairs of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), has informed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) about the incident. “An event of misconduct has been reported in the U-17 women’s team, currently on an exposure tour to Europe. The AIFF follows a zero-tolerance policy on indiscipline. As an initial action, the Federation has provisionally suspended the individual pending further investigation,” a statement from the CoA said.
“The AIFF has asked the concerned individual to stop all contact with the team, return to India immediately, and be physically present for further investigations upon his arrival,” the statement added.
The team is currently touring Europe as part of preparations for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup the country is hosting from October 11-30.
The CoA did not name the person involved but sources claimed that it’s team’s assistant coach Alex Ambrose, who forced the minor player to indulge in “inappropriate” act.
According to the source, head coach Thomas Dennerby himself was a witness to the “incident” and it was he, who immediately informed the AIFF.
“After Dennerby sent a report from Europe, the CoA acted immediately and informed the SAI. The culprit was called back without wasting any time. Ambrose is also set to face criminal charges since the girl is a minor,” the source said.
Sexual harassment cases are emerging in Indian sports, intermittently. Recently a female cyclist had accused national coach of inappropriate behaviour during training trip to Slovenia. The coach was sacked and is facing a detailed investigation.
A female sailor had also accused accompanying coach of making her uncomfortable during an exposure abroad.
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