I-League 2018-19: AIFF integrity officer Javed Siraj to investigate Chennai City players and match commissioner

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Although an investigation has been initiated, it is unlikely that the title will be stripped off Chennai City...

The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) integrity officer Javed Siraj is set to interrogate a couple of Chennai City players, Goal understands. Siraj has flown to Chennai and will conduct a session with match commissioner Balasubramaniam Byrappa as well.

In his match report of the game between Chennai City and Minerva Punjab, he had stated that the fixture was not played in the 'true spirit' of the game.

The match commissioner had found the substitutions made by Minerva Punjab as 'suspicious'. He also raised questions about a certain gesture made by Pedro Manzi to the Minerva Punjab goalkeeper before taking the spot-kick which led to the equalizer.

However, the match commissioner is set to be spoken to as well since he had not mentioned anything suspicious in the initial report immediately after the game before changing his stance, according to a source close to the developments.

Mr. Siraj is set to speak to Pedro Manzi within a day as well.

The report claimed, "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 goalkeeper 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."

It also mentioned, "Jersey No 10 (Juan Quero) of MPFC was substituted at 76 minute on which he was also annoyed and showed annoyance when he came to his technical area since he was displaying good attacking game. Shri Ranjit Bajaj, Team Manager throughout the game was very quite which is very opposite to his nature throughout the Championship."

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have also contacted AIFF about the heart of the matter after numerous complaints were lodged via the AFC Integrity app. Although an investigation is underway, it is unlikely that Chennai City will be stripped of its championship.

The source revealed that AIFF had special focus on both Chennai City - Minerva Punjab match and Gokulam Kerala - East Bengal fixture and received clean chits for the same from Sportradar, an agency which works with FIFA to make the sport cleaner.

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