Arrest warrant against ex-Indian women’s football coach in POCSO case

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New Delhi: A Delhi court has issued an arrest warrant against former Indian U-17 women’s football coach Alex Mario Ambrose accused of sexually abusing a woman athlete in June 2022 when the team was training in Norway.

The Dwarka court issued the warrant under Section 70 (compel the appearance or arrest of any person or search any place that the court requires) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The case attracts the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and it was registered against him last year.

The Additional Session Judge during the hearing also issued notice to the surety on breach of the bond for not adhering to the conditions imposed for bail.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on February 25.

Ambrose has been suspended and called back from Norway for alleged “misconduct” with a minor player during a training tour to Europe in June last year.

The 40-year-old, who was suspended from the national governing body of football in India, is accused of alleged sexual misconduct which took place with a minor girl when the Indian team was in Europe preparing for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Claiming “tarnishing his reputation”, Ambrose denied the sexual misconduct charges and sent a legal notice to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The notice, issued by his lawyer, called the AIFF’s action “arbitrary and unconstitutional”.

He had said: “My client was forced to admit to what he has never done by putting him under fear, duress and coercion. My client was not allowed to offer any explanation nor was my client intimated or informed about the charges/allegations/accusations levelled against by him.”

The U-17 women’s team had featured in the World Cup in India, which was held from October 11 to 30 last year.

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( With inputs from )

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