Minerva owner Bajaj reports match-fixing attempt saying it is ‘rampant’ in India’s lower leagues

April 14 – A bookmaker has allegedly approached two players at Delhi FC in the Indian I-League Second Division in an attempt to fix matches, Minerva club owner Ranjit Bajaj has claimed.

In March the players were contacted multiple times and promised they could “make a lot of money” by the match fixer, who even wrote to the players explaining that I-League 2 matches are beamed into betting shops and so attract interest from punters.

The players reported the approach to Bajaj (pictured), who says he registered a complaint on the Asian Football Confederation’s app, but that he has so far received no reply. 

Bajaj then went public, posting screenshots of messages sent to the players on social media. He claimed that there is “huge match-fixing or spot-fixing going on in Indian football and it’s especially happening in state leagues and the second division of the I-League”. 

Claiming that he is the only one to report this, he told local media: “They are running a racquet only in the lower leagues. At least half of the matches in these leagues are all fixed. I also know how much money have changed hands. So, this is rampant. You can just buy players, referees and teams for only a couple of lakhs.”

All India Football Federation (AIFF) secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran reacted by saying: “We have zero tolerance towards this aspect.”

The match fixer’s message read: “…Is it possible to know the result of your game before it is played or maybe how many goals will be scored…you can make a lot of money…”

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