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I-League players approached for match manipulation: All India Football Federation

AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey did not elaborate on how they received the information, which players were approached and who contacted them but insisted that the federation is committed to save the integrity of the game

PTI New Delhi Published 30.11.23, 12:20 PM
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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Thursday revealed that several I-League players were recently approached for "match manipulation" and promised to investigate the matter.

AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey did not elaborate on how they received the information, which players were approached and who contacted them but insisted that the federation is committed to save the integrity of the game.

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"We have received information of multiple approaches to our players. We will thoroughly examine the incidents, investigate, and take all necessary action," Chaubey said in a statement.

"We are committed to protecting our players and our beautiful game and will not tolerate any attempts of this nature to put the players and the game at risk," he said.

The 2023 I League season began in October and more than 40 matches have already been played in the 13-team competition.

"We will also continue to strengthen our institutional capacities to not only counter such threats but also educate our players and officials on how to recognise, respond to, and report incidents of this nature," said Chaubey.

The AIFF said it has taken serious note of the matter and reiterated its zero-tolerance policy towards any activity that impacts the integrity of its competitions or otherwise brings the game of football into disrepute.

"AIFF is committed to taking every step within its power to prevent corrupt practices from undermining the values of football," it said.

Sources in the know of things said that the players being approached are from four clubs.

"The information received is related to approaches to players of four clubs. Most probably, the approaches were made early in the season," an AIFF source told PTI on conditions of anonymity, without revealing the name of the players and clubs.

"AIFF integrity officer Javed Siraj is looking into the matter," the source added.

It is also learnt that the AIFF could also investigate into few "suspicious" I-League matches.

The AIFF has in the past expressed concerns about investments made to I-League clubs by shell companies linked to shady people.

Incidents of corrupt practices in Indian football are not new.

In 2018, the AIFF officially said that it was investigating match-fixing approaches made to players from the Minerva Punjab Football Club during the I-League.

In November last year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a preliminary enquiry into alleged match fixing in football matches in the country.

During the enquiry, the CBI had collected documents from the AIFF on several Indian football clubs. Under the scanner was the role of an alleged match fixer, based in Singapore, in rigging the results of matches.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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