Accused of physically assaulting 2 women footballers, Deepak Sharma suspended by AIFF until further notice | Football News - Hindustan Times
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Accused of physically assaulting 2 women footballers, Deepak Sharma suspended by AIFF until further notice

By, New Delhi
Apr 02, 2024 10:55 PM IST

Accused of physically assaulting two women footballers of Khad FC, Deepak Sharma was earlier arrested by Goa police.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) suspended its executive committee member Deepak Sharma till further notice and referred the charges of assault and harassment made against him by players of the Khad FC women’s team to its disciplinary committee.

AIFF Executive Committee has decided to suspend Deepak Sharma from participating in any football-related activities until further notice.(ANI)
AIFF Executive Committee has decided to suspend Deepak Sharma from participating in any football-related activities until further notice.(ANI)

This was decided by the emergency committee of the AIFF which comprises president Kalyan Chaubey, vice-president NA Harris and treasurer Kipa Ajay. The emergency committee met on Tuesday following an AIFF executive committee meeting on Monday where Sharma was “called and heard for a few minutes” as per a media release on Tuesday.

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ALSO READ: AIFF asks Deepak Sharma to refrain from football-related activities till conclusion of probe

Monday’s meeting also decided to dissolve the ad hoc committee formed on Saturday to probe the allegations against Sharma, who is now out on bail. The decision to dissolve the three-member committee headed by former international Pinky Magar was taken once Sharma was arrested in Goa, said an AIFF official. With things taking a legal turn, AIFF felt the matter should be placed before a constitutional body and hence it was referred to the disciplinary committee, the official said. The official requested anonymity to protect relationships.

AIFF’s decision comes after union sports minister Anurag Thakur wrote on X that his ministry was taking “serious note” of the “physical assault upon women footballers by an official during the ongoing Indian Women’s League in Goa.”

“The AIFF is determined to promote women's football in a safe and enabling environment and will take all necessary steps to ensure this,” said Chaubey. “The incident in Goa during IWL 2 should not be amplified to undermine the AIFF’s developmental efforts in women’s football.” The disciplinary committee will take up the issue at the earliest, said Chaubey.

“There are currently 27,030 registered women players in the country. Between September 2022 and March 2024, 15,293 women footballers have been registered in the AIFF Central Registration System portal. The increase in the number of women footballers in various age groups is one of the most encouraging trends in Indian football,” he said.

AIFF has also taken all measures to ensure that the players reached home safely.

On Saturday, Sharma was arrested in Goa following complaints of harassment and assault by players at Khad FC, a club in the new second division of the Indian Women’s League which he owns. Two players said he had barged into their room and assaulted them. Sharma, who also heads the AIFF sub-committee on infrastructure, was out on bail on Sunday.

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