PANAJI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has suspended its senior executive committee member Deepak Sharma “until further notice”, following his arrest in the alleged physical assault of two women footballers of Khad FC.
The AIFF had initially directed Sharma to step back and refrain from participating in all football-related activities, until the conclusion of a three-member committee’s report.The committee, however, didn’t have the power to recommend any sanctions, so the federation has now referred the case to its disciplinary committee.
Late on Monday, Sharma appeared before state association representatives during an online meeting and maintained that the police case was a conspiracy to defame him.
“I have been in football for such a long time, and such allegations have never been made against me. This is a conspiracy. I have two daughters and cannot think of doing anything like this,” he told the members.
Sharma’s presence at the state associations’ meeting, where they were discussing the physical assault of two women footballers in Goa, angered some members. At least two of them made their displeasure known before the Himachal Pradesh official was asked to leave.
AIFF officials said Sharma was present only to explain his side of what transpired in Goa, so that members get a better idea and then decide for themselves.
On Tuesday, AIFF placed Sharma under suspension.
“The AIFF is determined to promote women’s football in a safe and enabling environment and will take all necessary steps to ensure this,” AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey said after the executive committee meeting on Tuesday.
“The incident in Goa during IWL 2 should not be amplified to undermine the AIFF’s developmental efforts in women’s football. The case has now been referred to the disciplinary committee and will be taken up emergently.”
Sharma was arrested by Goa police on Saturday for physically assaulting two women footballers of Khad, a Himachal Pradesh-based team that he himself owns.
According to sources, for IWL 2, 13 of the players were from Himachal Pradesh, while the rest came from the Lovely Professional University in Amritsar and an academy from Pune.
Significantly, the participation fee of Rs 50,000 was paid by another Himachal-registered club. Himachal also didn’t have the HWL Senior Division Women’s Championship for 2023 and instead Khad, runnersup in 2022, were considered.





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