The president of the Mauritius Football Association has denied it is in turmoil after two board members stepped down over its handling of accusations a mobile phone in video recording mode was hidden in the women’s toilets at the association’s headquarters.
Police are continuing to investigate the claims made by the administrative secretary, Mila Sinnasamy, that the mobile phone discovered on 30 July was concealed in a blue basket placed in the water tank of the -women’s toilet at the MFA’s headquarters in Trianon, 15km from the capital, Port Louis.
She claimed the device was being used to record users of the toilet, having been “placed in such a manner where if ever someone enter[ed] the toilet premises she would be clearly seen and if a lady removed her pants her private parts would be clearly seen”.
Samir Sobha, who has been president of the MFA since 2014, called an emergency board meeting on 10 August to discuss the issue but did not invite several members, including Vinod Busviah. Barlen Sengayen did attend but later claimed the meeting had been secretly recorded without their permission.
Both have since stepped down, with Busviah saying he did not appreciate Sengayen’s resignation letter, saying he felt “misled and manipulated” by the MFA president. However, Sobha said he had acted correctly at the meeting and was now awaiting the outcome of the police investigation.
“I don’t think this is turmoil because we don’t exactly know if there was a phone or not,” he said. “It’s a shocking accusation because I have been here in the office for some time and I was not expecting anything of that sort.
“We have to let the authorities do their jobs. We will know if there is anyone that is hiding this thing there.”
Sobha also dismissed concerns among parents of young players who regularly use the facilities adjacent to Sepp Blatter Football House for training. “This is the office and I don’t know what kids are going to come to the office. It doesn’t have anything to do with the changing rooms because they are next to the field, not in the office.”
But Stéphane Toussaint, minister of youth and sports in Mauritius, urged Sobha to “take responsibility” for the investigation.
“We haven’t received any official letter to explain to us the problem,” he said. “I know a complaint was made to the police. I personally say, with all my ministry, that we condemn severely what happened. There’ll be an investigation to find the guilty ones.
“However, I send a warning to the MFA and all the other sports federations: that kind of thing can’t happen. We won’t tolerate it.”
A Fifa spokesman also said they were monitoring the situation. “These allegations are very -concerning and should be -investigated accordingly,” he said.