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Footballers Get Bail, Churchill To File Suit Agaisnt Spicejet

PTI 07 Jan 2010, 0:03:30 AM IST

Three players of top football club Churchill Brothers arrested for allegedly molesting an airhostess on board a SpiceJet plane were today granted bail even as the Goa team's owners cried foul and said a defamation suit will be filed against the private airline. 

The Mumbai police said they had enough evidence to proceed against the players and they will be charge-sheeted. "We have lot of evidence and we will chargesheet the three players," Additional CP Amitabh Gupta said in Mumbai. 

Nigerians Odafe Okolie (25) and Ogba Kalu (20), and goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya (20) were arrested last night at the Mumbai airport for allegedly pushing and teasing an airhostess of the SpiceJet flight from Goa to Kolkata. They were offloaded along with other members of the 23-member team. 

The club's patron Churchill Alemao dubbed the incident as a "conspiracy" and said he would file a defamation suit against the airliner for tarnishing the team's image. 

The team was on its way from Goa to Kolkata via Mumbai for their I-League match against Mohun Bagan on Friday. 

Alemao, a Congress Minister in the Digamber Kamat Cabinet, claimed it was a conspiracy to stop the team from playing against Mohun Bagan as the team had beaten the Bengal side in both the IFA shield and Durand Cup this season. 

Refuting the allegations, Odafe, who is the highest-paid footballer in the Indian league, said he was innocent and claimed the incident happened only because he was a foreigner.

Alemao downplayed the incident. "The flight (Spice Jet) is like a bus. Each other you are touching accidentally. Purposedly, he(Odafe) did not touch anybody." He also sarcastically suggested that Government should consider separate flights for men and women. PTI