All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Integrity Officer Javed Siraj on January 18, 2017, stressed on a zero-tolerance policy towards any match-fixing allegations after Ranjit Bajaj, owner of Minerva Punjab, took to social media to reveal that two of his players were approached.
A second complaint was lodged with the AIFF in the first week of March where Minerva alleged that five more players along with head coach Khogen Singh was contacted in order to deliver sub-par performances. Simultaneously, V Soundararajan, the ex-head coach of Chennai City FC, was also promised monetary benefits if his team were to beat Minerva Punjab.
Kushal Das, General Secretary of the AIFF, revealed that the apex governing body has referred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into the complaint made by Minerva Punjab.
“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,” informed Das at the official draw ceremony for the Super Cup.
“The second one which we made it public just a day before the I-League title-deciding matches a few days back, out integrity officer is looking into the matter for further course of action,” he added.
Siraj has conducted a series of interrogation with the various parties involved which includes Rohit Ramesh, owner of Chennai City FC; V Soundararajan and East Bengal’s goalkeeping coach Abdul Azim Siddique. Khogen Singh and also Ranjit Bajaj have also been questioned.
Several of these people have confirmed to Goal they have been questioned on this matter.
East Bengal official Alvito D'Cunha is also expected to be interrogated.
Siraj who has been heading AIFF's anti-corruption unit since August 2014 has not really made headway into the case.. "We await an official complaint from the club and will leave no stone unturned to protect the integrity of Football,” he had assured back in January.
The club has filed a complaint and almost four months after, there has been hardly any significant development.
When Goal contacted Siraj for further updates, the former CBI employee chose not to speak.