'Drunk' AIFF Official Accused Of Slapping, Assaulting 2 Women Footballers In Goa Hotel Room During IWL 2024

'Drunk' AIFF Official Accused Of Slapping, Assaulting 2 Women Footballers In Goa Hotel Room During IWL 2024

The accused, Deepak Sharma, a member of the AIFF's executive committee, is reported to have barged into the hotel room of the Khad FC athletes in an inebriated state and physically attacked them following a minor altercation.

Rohan SenUpdated: Saturday, March 30, 2024, 02:19 PM IST
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Deepak Sharma (right) is general secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Football Association | Deepak Sharma Twitter

Two female footballers from a local team from Himachal Pradesh have lodged allegations against an official from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for physical assault in their hotel room amidst the Indian Women's League (IWL) 2024 taking place in Goa.

The accused, Deepak Sharma, a member of the AIFF's executive committee, is reported to have barged into the hotel room of the Khad FC athletes in an inebriated state and physically attacked them following a minor altercation.

Complaint lodged by Goa Police

The Goa Football Association (GFA) has taken formal action by filing a report at the Mapusa police station concerning the incident. "Some girls were assaulted by Deepak Sharma, one of the accompanying members of the team, who was allegedly in an inebriated condition," detailed the GFA's lodged complaint.

In response to Sharma's conduct, GFA representatives visited the team's hotel, compelling the team manager to issue a written commitment guaranteeing the players' safety.

The unfortunate incident

"Yesterday (Thursday), as the dinner was over, we went to our rooms to boil eggs. Due to this reason, Deepak Sharma got offended and stormed into our room. He slapped us, assaulted us physically," reported the Times of India, citing the athletes' formal grievance backed by three corroborating witnesses.

The complaint further describes Sharma's habitual consumption of alcohol, notably carrying liquor with him during the team's journey from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi preceding the tournament. "He was drinking in front of us," the players stated in their complaint.

Who is Deepak Sharma?

Sharma holds positions as the general secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Football Association and the deputy chairman of the AIFF's competitions committee. The national football governing body has acknowledged the complaint against Sharma and has committed to addressing the issue appropriately.

AIFF's response

Valanka Alemao, the chairperson of the AIFF women’s football committee, expressed her concern upon reviewing the complaint, stating, "I am immediately heading to meet the team at the hotel. Such behavior is unacceptable and will be addressed by the AIFF in a serious manner."

2nd incident this week

This marks the second significant issue linked to the AIFF in the same week, following a "verbal" grievance of "harassment" filed by a female staff member against a male coworker at the federation's main office in Delhi.

However, the woman has not yet formally filed a complaint.

The AIFF's Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) convened on Tuesday to review the case, during which the woman requested additional time before deciding on the next steps for her complaint.

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