East Bengal: Abdul Siddique denies match-fixing allegations amid reports of CBI summons

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I-League
The goalkeeping coach, out of contract at East Bengal, has denied allegations of match-fixing levelled against him...

East Bengal's former goalkeeping coach and Khalid Jamil's assistant Abdul Siddiqui has denied reports of him being involved in match-fixing and subsequent reports of being summoned by the Crime Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The issue arose after I-League champions Minerva Punjab FC's owner Ranjit Bajaj revealed on social media back in January that two of his players were contacted for match-fixing. Later in March, Bajaj further mentioned that five more players and head coach Khogen Singh were also approached.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) handed over the match-fixing investigation to the CBI last month. According to various reports, the CBI had summoned former East Bengal player Alvito D'Cunha and assistant coach Abdul Siddiqui who it was alleged had called up Khogen Singh and offered him a role at East Bengal if his team underperformed. 

Speaking to Goal, Siddiqui confirmed that he was not aware of any summons from the CBI and insisted that he is not involved in the match-fixing scandal. He said, "There is no information that I have been summoned by the CBI. Neither the club has informed me nor have I received any calls from anyone in the CBI. 

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"The thing has been highlighted just for publicity. I regularly talk to many coaches, and not only to Minerva's coach. It is not like what is being reported by the press. I said the same to Siraj (Javed Siraj - AIFF's Integrity Officer who is also handling the case) also. 

"I do not deny that I had a chat with Khogen (Singh), but it was not the first time I was talking to the Minerva coach. It is a long-term business. We are in terms for a long period of time. How I can decide his contract with East Bengal for next year when my contract was only for a year with the club.

"Even when we went to play that crucial away match, Khogen Singh called me to ask how was I doing? It was a normal conversation and it had nothing to do any contract."

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