Minerva Punjab FC red flags 2nd match fixing approach

NEW DELHI: The match-fixing controversy in the I-League refused to die down when the owner of the Minerva Punjab FC shot off yet another letter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF), on Sunday, alleging five of their players were approached to fix matches.

"Yes, Minerva FC has again written to us saying five of their players have been sent messages through mobile phone to fix matches. The integrity officer of the federation is looking into the matter," an AIFF official told The Telegraph.

"Earlier, Minerva said two of their players were asked to fix matches. The present messages seem to have come from the same phone numbers. The federation could approach the police to solve the matter," the official further said.

In the second week of January, Minerva FC said two of their footballers received offers to fix matches. It was then revealed that the particular messages were sent from two numbers. While one was a local number, the other one came from a European country.

Both the AIFF and Minerva FC, however, refused to divulge names of the players who were approached. 

The owner of the Minerva FC, Ranjit Bajaj, wrote on the social media: "Another low for Indian football with another five of my players being asked to fix matches in the I-League taking the numbers to seven."

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das told the daily that the federation had initiated an inquiry a few days ago. "We have also approached the Fifa and the AFC since a Spanish number is involved in the messages. We have started an internal enquiry but we could even approach the CBI."