The All India Football Federation (AIFF) today asked its women's committee to find out what had happened in the reported humiliation of young tribal players of Jharkhand before they left for a tournament in Spain last month.
Eighteen girls from a village on the outskirts of Ranchi had on July 13 finished third in Gasteiz Cup, an Under-14 tournament, in Victoria Gasteiz in Spain.
The tribal girls were representing Yuwa India, an NGO founded by a 30-year-old American Franz Gastler.
They were reportedly humiliated, slapped and forced to sweep floors when they went to the Panchayat office to get birth certificates for their passport.
Patel said that the AIFF should not be drawn into the matter as the girls were preparing to take part in an tournament not approved by it but nonetheless has asked the women's committee to find out the facts.
"It was a malicious campaign against the AIFF and it's totally baseless to bring the AIFF into this. The tournament the girls participated was not approved by us nor we knew about their participation," Patel, who chaired the Executive Committee Meeting of the AIFF today, said.
"It's good that the girls were taking part in an international tournament but how would the AIFF be in the scene if something happens to the girls on something related to the preparation for taking part in a tournament which we don't know," he added.
"Nonetheless, I have asked the AIFF Women's Committee to find out what happened to the girls."