‘No place in society’ – Indian football community reacts to U-17 sexual abuse case
‘No place in society’ – Indian football community reacts to U-17 sexual abuse case. The disclosure of sexual misconduct among members of the national Under-17 women’s squad has sparked a response from the Indian football community, which resulted in the dismissal of assistant coach Alex Ambrose and the opening of criminal investigations.
Goalkeeper for the national team Gurpreet Singh Sandhu stated the incident served as a reminder that women’s football in India still required improvement. ‘Sexual misdemeanors should have no place in society, let alone football,’ he tweeted on Tuesday.
‘Let’s make a sincere effort to consider how we might improve the surroundings for our boys and girls as they advance through the ranks. This must be completed as quickly as possible.’ Suresh Wangjam, a teammate of Sandhu’s at Bengaluru FC and a member of the India Under-17 squad that competed at the 2017 Fifa World Cup, demanded a thorough probe into the ‘disturbing‘ occurrence. How would parents permit their daughters to play professional football if there is no system in place to ensure their safety, he wondered?
The former professional Darren Caldeira made the scathing remarks, claiming that the revelation had left him ‘shook’ and ‘feeling really sick.’ He tweeted, ‘I spent the week collecting my thoughts, talked to more than a few people. He expressed the wish that the victim was receiving “all the assistance and help to deal with what she has been through.‘ It is our responsibility to make sure that they are secure in this area because our ladies have been representing us so admirably on the football field.
The incident first came to light last Thursday, when the AIFF referred to it as ‘an event of misconduct.’ The specifics of the case—including the nature of the offense and Ambrose’s name—were made public 48 hours later in a tweet by SY Quraishi, the chairman of the court-appointed Committee of Administrators. Ambrose had been fired as a result of the offense, he added at the time.
On Tuesday, Quraishi informed ESPN that the case had begun with criminal proceedings. The matter is covered by the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO), which has broad legal ramifications for all parties involved, including the federation and other staff members who were on the tour when the alleged assault occurred.