Police in Oslo reported Saturday that several young boys aged 12 to 14 have been charged with molesting several girls around the same age while they all were attending a disco event in connection with the Norway Cup youth football tournament.
“We have had a report that the young girls were subjected to what we would characterize as sexual molestation, or groping,” Grete Lien Metlid of the Oslo Police District told state broadcaster NRK. The abuse took place inside a large tent at Ekeberg where a disco event was held for the young football players Friday evening.
“We don’t yet know exactly how many girls were subjected to this, but there were apparently several,” Metlid said. Police were taking the case seriously, following reports of similar assaults at large public events around Europe this year.
The boys charged are so young that child welfare authorties have also become involved, with Metlid saying they would be following up the case. Norway Cup officials said they were “shaken” by the charges, and shocked that boys so young were involved. “We had a lot of security at the event, with the police, professional security guards and youth counselors in place,” Terje Lund, chairman of Norway Cup, told NRK. He said there were never more than 300 youngsters inside the disco tent at Ekeberg.
Lund said it was too early to say whether any players or their clubs would be hit with any punitive action. “We have to wait until the police are finished with their investigation,” he said.
Norway Cup is billed as the world’s largest football tournament for children and youth. A foreign coach was expelled earlier this week for sexual harassment of female players, and fined NOK 20,000 (USD 2,300).