I-League | AIFF orders inquiry after match commissioner’s letter on Chennai-Minerva game

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I League

I-League | AIFF orders inquiry after match commissioner’s letter on Chennai-Minerva game

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SportsCafe Desk

03/13/2019

After the match commissioner expressed his doubts over the match between Chennai City FC and Minerva Punjab, the AIFF has ordered a probe into the matter. The game had ended with Chennai winning it by 3-1 goals and with that, they managed to win their maiden I-League title this year.

The winners of the I-League this year was decided on the final day of the competition where, despite a win against Gokulam Kerala, East Bengal couldn’t manage to end the season at the top of the points table. Chennai had defeated Minerva by 3-1 goals on the same day to end the season above East Bengal and clinch their maiden title. 

However, a controversy has emerged after that as East Bengal skipper Lalrindika Ralet raised doubts over Punjab’s decision to replace its foreign players and the match commissioner Balasubramaniam Byrappa has said that the match was “not played in true spirit”. Meanwhile, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has launched an inquiry into the match.

“The AIFF is looking into the matter and the federation’s integrity officer has already got down to work. Though, in the match commissioner’s report to the federation, nothing suspicious was mentioned,” an AIFF official told PTI.

The match commissioner highlighted a few incidents from the game in his letter to the AIFF where he had raised doubts of the match not being played in “true spirit”. 

“After thorough discussion and observation, self and RA appointed for the above subjected game in our opinion like to bring to your kind notice that the penultimate match played between CCFC and MPFC in Coimbatore on 9.3.2019 was not played in true spirit,” the match commissioner wrote in his note which is in possession of PTI.

“Incidents evidently provide us proof at 56 minute the player taking the penalty, J No 19 (Pedro Manzi) of CCFC had shown him with his gesture, which side he is going to kick. The goal keeper dived the other way. J No 17 (Roland Bilala) of MPFC was being substituted at 53 min at that time the team was leading by a goal scored by him at 3 minute and it surprised the player himself since he was displaying good attacking football. Jersey No 10 (Juan Quero) of MPFC was substituted at 76 minute on which he was also annoyed and shown annoyance when he came to his technical area, since he was displaying good attacking game. Ranjit Bajaj, Team Manager throughout the game was very quite which is very opposite to his nature throughout the Championship.”

On the other hand, Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj has rubbished such allegations saying that the winners of last season were playing with an intention to win against Chennai in Coimbatore.

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