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IOA to look into sexual harassment charge against UP Football Sangh

New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association today said it would look into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled on a top official of the Uttar Pradesh Football Sangh by a woman player after verifying the "facts" surrounding the matter first.

UPFS Secretary Mohammed Shamsuddin has been accused by a woman footballer of sexually harassing her while she was attending a 15-day camp this month in preparation for the ongoing National Championships at Golaghat in Assam. Shamsuddin was reportedly arrested in Varanasi on April 20 and later released on bail. Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association had sought action against the state football body for not taking action against Shamsuddin.

Sports Secretary of the state has also reportedly written to the IOA to disaffiliate All Indian Football Federation for not taking action against Shamsuddin. IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta told PTI that it will first find out what had actually happened and then consider whether to form a committee to look into the matter or not. "The IOA will take serious action if anybody is found involved in sexual harassment. It is a serious matter. We have got representation from Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association to take action against the alleged offender and we have asked the AIFF to tell us what steps they are taking," Mehta said.

"We will first find out through our channels what had happened in the incident, the chain of events leading to the allegations by the woman player and will then ask the AIFF to take action if we think action should be taken. If not, we can take action on our own also but first we have to verify what has been reported in the media," he said. He said the AIFF is yet to respond to the IOA directive if any action is being taken into the matter. "We are yet to get a response from the AIFF. In any case, we will take up the matter on our own and decide how to go about it. We may form a committee to look into the matter if we think it is required," he said.

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