Sacked India U17 coach Alex Ambrose sends legal notice to AIFF

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Sacked for alleged sexual misconduct during the India U-17 women football team's tour of Europe, former assistant coach Alex Ambrose has denied any wrongdoing and sent a legal notice to the All India Football Federation for "tarnishing his reputation by levelling frivolous charges".

On Sunday, SY Quraishi, a member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) which is running the sport in the country, had announced the sacking of Ambrose on Twitter.

The notice, issued by Mumbai-based advocate Madhukar P Dalvi on behalf of Ambrose, claimed that he "has been a victim of malafides and ulterior motives and objects at the instance of and behest of the All India Football Federation".

"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. My client has been sacked and terminated from his duties in an illegal, unlawful and unjust manner without following the due process of law," the notice said.

Ambrose said he was not given time to refute the allegations and the action taken against him is violation of the rules of natural justice.

"My client is shocked and surprised to see the reckless action taken by the All India Football Federation is a total violation and breach of justice, equity, fair play and rules of natural justice. The actions taken by All India Football Federation is arbitrary and unconstitutional and is in total disregard to the Rule of Law and legal principles," Ambrose's advocate claimed in the notice.

It said the AIFF informed him via e-mail to attend a disciplinary hearing but did not accept his request to give a different date for the hearing as he had prior engagements.

"My client's image and reputation have been brutally tarnished and destroyed by the All India Football Federation by posting and publishing frivolous news/accusations against my client without making any enquiries, issuing any show-cause notice, giving him any opportunity to give his say and express his stand.

"My client has not even been intimated about the charges levelled against him.

"And without any of the above, a verdict seems to have been passed against him, punishing and penalizing him for things that he has not done at all. The above-said act of the AIFF amounts to grave violation of the basic canons of natural justice," the notice said.

Ambrose's counsel alleged that the AIFF "has been publishing false, frivolous and scandalous reports against my client and threatening and intimidating my client about serious actions including police action".

The notice called on the AIFF to "forthwith withdraw the illegal termination letter and restore the services of my client".