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 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.
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das resigns
The controversial All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das has resigned from his post on "health grounds", ending his 12-year tenure which was often marred by allegations of financial improprieties.
Das, who was appointed to the top post in 2010, has been on leave since June 20 on health grounds, though many in football circles said he was kept out of his job by the Committee of Administrators (COA) after a Comptroller and Auditor General audit found multiple financial anomalies, which are being currently probed.
"Kushal Das, General Secretary of All India Football Federation has resigned from his post citing medical reasons. The All India Football Federation respects his decision, and thanks him for his contribution and guidance during his tenure in office. We wish him good health and luck in his future endeavours," AIFF stated in a media release.
"Sunando Dhar, the Acting General Secretary will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Federation," it further added.
Das sent the resignation to the CoA which is currently running Indian football after the Praful Patel-led dispensation was ousted by the Supreme Court for not holding elections on time.
Das' tenure as AIFF General Secretary roughly coincides with that Patel's presidency.
The recently ordered CAG audit of accounts of the AIFF for the period coinciding with Patel's tenure.
Das was earlier accused of molestation by a female employee of the AIFF and the institution came under fire after an Internal Complaints Committee, mostly comprising his sub-ordinates gave him a clean chit.
The CoA has also found out that an astrology firm was paid more than 16 lakh rupees to predict the fate of the senior men's national team in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Recently, another complaint had surfaced in which an Ahmedabad based football academy's name has cropped up time and again on some murky dealings of some of the transfers pertaining to former Indian Arrows players.
Das, who before joining AIFF in 2010, worked as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with International Cricket Council (ICC) for two years.
While the Indian national team qualified for three Asian Cup football tournaments during his tenure, Das has received enormous flak over the years for not being able to organize quality international exposure for the senior national team.