The All India Football Federation (AIFF), on Thursday, provisionally suspended a member of the U-17 women’s team staff for alleged misconduct during a tour to Norway. In a brief statement, the federation – currently being run by a Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) – did not name the individual. However, they said he has been asked to return to India ‘immediately’ to join the investigation into the issue.
In a joint statement released hours later, the state associations affiliated with the AIFF said the concerned individual was a coach of the team, while requesting the CoA and the AIFF to ‘initiate an independent enquiry after filing an FIR.’
The U-17 team is currently in Norway as a part of their exposure trip to Europe ahead of the women’s World Cup, which will be hosted in India this October. It is learnt the team’s chief coach Thomas Dennerby brought the issue to the notice of the AIFF’s National Teams department, who then informed the CoA.
The AIFF, in its statement, said: “An event of misconduct has been reported in the U17 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. 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 state associations expressed their ‘no confidence’ in the working of AIFF’s National Team department. “An independent enquiry should be conducted in the management and functioning of the National Team department especially the decisions and actions of the Head of National Team Department should be thoroughly probed to establish the frequent failures including the appointment of the coaches and scouts in AIFF,” they said in their joint statement.
India’s U-17 women’s team is scheduled to make its World Cup debut on October 11, when they take on the USA on the tournament’s opening day.