Two Palestinian footballers booked for sexual harassment

September 17, 2014

INCHEON (Yonhap) — Two Palestine football players have been booked for investigation on suspicion of sexually harassing a female official at the Asian Games in South Korea, police said Wednesday.

The footballers, whose names were withheld, were suspected of approaching and groping the South Korean woman on Monday in a laundry room in the athletes’ village in Incheon, the host city of this year’s Asiad, they said.

“We returned them to the athletes’ village after interrogation,” said a police officer, adding that the suspects admitted to the charges against them.

The Palestine football team won two straight matches in the ongoing group stage, defeating Oman 2-0 and Tajikistan 2-1.

The Palestinian incident is the second such case at the Asian Games, after an equipment manager for the Iranian men’s football team was charged with sexually harassing a female volunteer at a stadium on Monday.

Later on Wednesday, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the continent’s governing body of sports, issued a statement announcing its “zero tolerance” policy for cases of sexual harassment at the Asian Games.

The OCA also identified the Iranian equipment manager as Amereh Ahmad and said it has canceled his accreditation card.

“The OCA will not tolerate any misbehavior of this nature and we will take a tough stance,” said Husain Al-Musallam, director general of the OCA. “We cannot accept this, so we have removed him from the Games.”

The OCA said Ahmad is banned from all Asian Games-related sites and that it has asked Iran’s Olympic body to send him back to his country.