Updated February 28th, 2024 at 15:53 IST

'I can guarantee ISL is fixed': Team owner explains how MATCH-FIXING takes place in Indian football

Team owner alleges systematic match-fixing in Indian football, expressing certainty that even the ISL is manipulated, involving referees and potential fixing.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
ISL | Image:ISL
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The owner of Delhi FC, Ranjit Bajaj, has expressed worries about match-fixing in the Delhi Football League in a recent development. The scandal started during an Ahbab FC vs. Rangers game, when an odd series of circumstances raised the possibility of match-fixing. Ahbab players mysteriously gave up two easy goals in the last four minutes, allowing them to win 4-2 even though they were ahead 4-0 at the time. Indian Football fans expressed outrage on social media as soon as video of these goals became apparent, exposing their questionable character. Despite an official statement from the Delhi Football Association and AIFF regarding an option to take an action against the teams involved in such a criminal act, fans await a major action.

This comes after the struggles of the Indian Football team’s struggle in the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar, where they not only failed to secure a victory but could not score a single goal against other Asian nations. In order to improve Indian Football there is an urgent need to take action against such concerning act at the lower section of the Indian Football pyramid. 

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The publicly available footage raised severe concerns about the fairness of the game and presented convincing proof of foul conduct. In response to the uproar, Ranjit Bajaj disclosed on social media that betting businesses had also contacted Delhi FC, throwing light on the league's widespread influence from illicit activity.

Also Read: Match-fixing in Indian football? Delhi club suspended after suspicious video, AIFF takes note

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Ranjit Bajaj has made a huge statement about the disease that limits the growth in the Indian Football 

In a recent podcast on Football Unplugged with Saatvik (YouTube), Ranjit Bajaj gave a detailed explanation about the alleged illegal acts that are being practiced in the State leagues and even in the ISL, citing that referees are allegedly involved in match-fixing. On the match-fixing allegation in the Delhi Premier League, Ranjit Bajaj said: 

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‘The corruption has been going on for a long-time, it’s just coming out now because it can’t be stopped and we wouldn't have had a video no matter what I would have said nobody would have believed me 

I showed the world what is happening by the way why because one and a half months before that I also tweeted and no one believed me because it was a penalty given by a referee which me being a footballer I knew that this penalty is wrong but again people can say oh yeah itsa human error there is no human error now as it is proven now( that match-fixing took place in the Delhi Premier League)  brings into the doubt the entire league now the president of this Federation Delhi football is also the owner of a club in

the Delhi Premier League in the same league same league or president so what does he do he takes the date, he the dates out fixtures out he takes he gives himself (his team) enough rest between matches he makes sure his Manifesto was that I'm going to bring in a sponsor for Delhi football from HCL 60 lakhs that sponsor somehow has gone to his own club and then what has come for Delhi football?  DAFA BET which is a betting website”

 There is no checks and balances there's no conflict of interest a club ownership presidential eligibility for example there is nothing that Reserves individual from being an owner and the chairman or president at the same time no there is nothing written about  conflict of interest in the constitution by the AIFF.”

Also Read: 'It’s a huge statement I am making but THIS LEAGUE is FIXED': ISL team owner makes massive claim

Is even ISL fixed? Ranjit Bajaj puts spotlight on alleged 'spot-fixing'

AIFF and AFC seem to be failing to stop ‌corruption in ‌Indian Football. Adding to that Ranjit Bajaj said: 

"For a criminal thing (fixing and betting)  I don’t think it should be a committee formed. 

For example if play a match tomorrow and I tackle you badly disciplinary committee should ban me for 3-4 matches depending on the intensity of the tackle. But if I murder you on the football field disciplinary committee cannot do anything because it’s the police that comes in and arrest me because I’ve murdered someone and it’s a criminal case.

And now because fixing is a criminal matter, unless and until the police deal with it. It’s never gonna stop that’s where I disagree with FIFA, AIFF and AFC when they say we have put such issues to our own committees. No!!! It’s a crime that has happened and that is why fixing has been allowed to go on for such a long time in AFC and FIFA. Although they have been trying to get rid of it but they have not been able to. Now that have realised that until you don’t bring the police it’s never gonna improve.

2 years ago I tweeted about it, one and the half months ago I tweeted about it. No one said anything. I complained to Delhi Football federation I complained to AIFF and not once in the last 8 years of my football I must have complained about match fixing about on 10 different occasions either about offers being made to me or directly made to my players” 

“ The last time I told AIFF to register a case against ‌this is when the second division of I League this year, 4 of my players were made offers on Instagram. I’ve got screenshots I’ve got the whole proof, I complained to AFC again and to AIFF. BOTH didn’t do anything!

When I made a complain about match fixing in 2017/18 it was the first ever complain about match fixing ever made in the Indian Football history and apparently after that there have been no body who has done it but now I am coming to know atleast 5 people have contacted me saying that they have also made complains to AIFF. They didn’t do anything. 

It (match fixing) has gone into IWL, I League. I can guarantee even ISL is fixed when I say ISL is fixed. They can’t fix the players.

In football here is more spot fixing, here you’ll fix referees more than anybody else. In ISL players are making a crore a month, they will not fall for it that easily until they pay them like 20-30 crore. Referees earn like a 50k per month and if you pay them 10 lakh also they might fall for it and tell him you don’t have to influence the match all you have to do for example is that give 3 yellow card to this team, fixing on kick-off which side will start. How many corners are given in the first half or even a penalty to any teams etc.”

Ranjit Bajaj's outspoken stance on serious issues of match-fixing in Indian football might need immediate intervention from the relevant authorities and if proven there needs to be stringent action taken against culprits who malign intergrity of football. Bajaj's calls for police intervention highlight the severity of the situation, emphasizing that match-fixing is not merely a disciplinary issue but a criminal offense that requires legal action. Until concrete steps are taken to combat corruption and enforce accountability, the specter of match-fixing will continue to loom over Indian football.

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Published February 28th, 2024 at 15:39 IST