The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) integrity officer Javed Siraj on Thursday suggested that the investigation on the match-fixing scandal involving I-League champions Minerva Punjab players is on the right track and a decision will be taken very soon.
Back in January during the I-League season, Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj took to social media to reveal that two of his footballers were approached for match-fixing. In March again, Bajaj mentioned that five more players were contacted along with head coach Khogen Singh.
The Indian FA had handed over this case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last month. Siraj himself has conducted a series of interrogation with various parties which includes Chennai City FC owner Rohit Ramesh and former coach V Soundararajan. East Bengal’s goalkeeping coach Abdul Azim Siddiqui, Khogen Singh and Ranjit Bajaj were also questioned.
Speaking exclusively to Goal, Siraj suggested that it is not possible for the FA to speed up the investigation process as it is in hands of CBI now. He said, "Everything has got a system. An investigation cannot run according to the whims of anyone. CBI has got their own priorities. It is not in my power to propose the CBI to take the matter up urgently. The case has been referred to the CBI and whenever there is a discussion we go there and discuss the case.
"We are talking to many parties. From my side, I am trying to bring this case to a conclusion. The CBI is a separate issue. They have been interested in someone and they are interrogating him. We are also not sleeping and are trying our best. I am not the final authority. If I have written something, then it will go to someone else and then to another committee. It takes time."
On asked if he is happy with the progress of the investigation, the integrity officer said, "I am myself doing the investigation. Yes, there will be some conclusion. There have been developments, which I cannot reveal to the press. Keep patience, we are trying."