The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the complaint made by Minerva Punjab FC that their players were approached for match-fixing during the just-concluded I-League.
The newly-crowned champions Minerva Punjab had alleged match-fixing approaches on two occasions -- one in January and the other earlier this month.
"Regarding the first approach relating to the alleged phone calls made to the Minerva players and the support staff, we have handed the information and the details to the CBI," AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said.
"The second one which we made it public just a day before the I-League title deciding matches a few days back, our integrity officer is looking into the matter for further course of action," he added.
In the first case which came to light in January, Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj said that an Indian and a foreign player of his team were offered bribes of up to Rs 30 lakh each in an alleged match-fixing attempt. He tweeted that some match officials were also approached. Bajaj had said that his club reported the issue to AIFF and also apprised of the Asian Football Confederation.
Later, Bajaj again wrote on social media that five more players from his club were asked to fix matches in the I-League, taking the numbers to seven.
Asked if the AIFF's restructuring plan to have three tiers of the domestic league system will be implemented next year, Das said, "We are waiting for inputs from the AFC and based on that we will take a decision. We will have an Executive Committee meeting," he said.
"We are very clear that the model will have to be sustainable and make sense. We don't want to rush in and later find that it not workable. In the next two or three months, we should be able to come up with a plan." —PTI