World News

Bookies 'approached' Minerva players: Bajaj

Bookies 'approached' Minerva players: Bajaj

"2 of my players came to me with screenshots of match fixing offers of 30 lakhs/I reported it to Aiff integrity officer & also AFC thru their integrity app/really hope these unscrupulous elements are not successful in getting thru2other players and match officials [sic]", wrote Ranjit on Twitter.

Commenting on the issue, Sunando Dhar, CEO of the I-League said, "The AIFF integrity officer, Javed Siraj, was contacted by Minerva regarding the issue". He refused to disclose their names, but confirmed that an Indian and a foreign player were contacted over a phone call and Facebook respectively.

Bajaj had tweeted on Wednesday that the menace of match-fixing has hit India and there are people who are trying to singe the reputation of the game.

"See, if somebody like Sony Norde is offered 30 lakhs, he will refuse it".

"And you don't know what kind of foreigners you are bringing in. there are cases where someone who was working as a carpenter in Nigeria comes here and plays as a striker, you know that. and imagine the match officials, they get 10,000 bucks a month".

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AIFFs integrity officer Javed Siraj, who has been heading its anti-corruption unit since August 2014 as per the Federation Internationale de Football Association guidelines, felt the need of the hour is to "jointly combat any threats which can bring disrepute to the sport". The person at the other end offered a similar sum to fix a match.

Ranjit has filed a complaint on the AFC's Integrity App and will be filing a police complaint this evening.

Siraj said the AIFF conducts workshops before every season with emphasis on three Rs -- Recognise, Reject and Report.

AIIF regulations state that if suspected of match manipulation, there's a chance that players, coaches, referees or match officials can be removed, substituted or even suspended till the conclusion of an enquiry.

Minerva Punjab have been enjoying a dream campaign in this season's I-League and are at the top of the league table with 22 points from nine outings.


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