Twelve players of the Goan football club Churchill Brothers were offloaded from a SpiceJet flight on Tuesday after three of them allegedly molested two air hostesses.
The defending champions of iLeague, the country’s top tier soccer league, were on their way to Kolkata.
The airport police have arrested two Nigerian strikers Odafa Onyeka Okolie and Felix Chimaokwu and team manager Mario Soares on charges of molestation.
Airline sources told HT that one of the players allegedly touched an air hostess inappropriately.
“When she protested, the other players began abusing us,” said an airline crew member, requesting anonymity. She said the entire team became unruly.
“In the interests of the safety of other passengers the pilot decided to offload the violent passengers at Mumbai,” said a SpiceJet spokesperson.
The team management defended the boys. “Our players were having fun inside the flight, raising their arms and while doing so one of our players hit an air hostess by mistake, but he immediately apologised,” said Joaquim Alemao, president of the Goa Football Association. “The matter was over but then another
cabin crew intervened and was hell bent on making an issue out of it.”