Mumbai, Jan.6 : Players of the Churchill Brothers football team were detained at the airport police station in Mumbai Tuesday night after three of them were accused of molesting an airhostess on a Goa-Mumbai-Kolkata SpiceJet flight.
Among those who allegedly misbehaved with the airhostess was captain and star Nigerian striker Okolie Odafa, the highest-paid footballer in India and leading scorer in the national league for the last three years.
The identity of the other two players could not be confirmed. Additional Commissioner of Police, West Region, Amitabh Gupta said they had received a complaint from airline staff after the team was offloaded after the alleged incident on the Goa-Mumbai leg of the flight. An FIR had been filed, Gupta said.
A SpiceJet spokesman said, “Some passengers misbehaved with and abused our crew on board flight SG 804. In the interest of the safety of the other passengers, our pilot took a decision to offload them in Mumbai during the scheduled transit. The matter is under investigation.”
Joaquim Alemao, co-owner of the Goa-based club, said his team had been detained unnecessarily. “Odafa was having an animated conversation with other players and his hand inadvertently touched a passing airhostess. He immediately apologized but the crew created a scene,” he said.
The All India Football Federation named Odafa Best Forward and Most Valuable Player in 2009. He also received the Golden Boot Award for scoring the most goals in the I-League for the second time in three seasons.
Odafa-powered Churchill lifted the IFA Shield and Durand Cup last year to complete the most successful season in the club’s history. He slammed a hattrick in the Durand final against Mohun Bagan, and was adjudged Man of the Tournament.