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Updated January 20th, 2024 at 15:39 IST

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

ISL team Minerva Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj, who owns Delhi FC, makes big claim of the Delhi Senior Premier League being fixed after a controversial incident.

Delhi Football
Delhi Football | Image:X/Ranjit Bajaj
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In a surprising disclosure, Ranjit Bajaj, famous football administrator and owner of Minerva Punjab FC, has sparked a firestorm of controversy by suggesting that match-fixing plagues Indian state competitions, notably the Delhi Senior Premier League. Bajaj's accusations follow a fiercely contested encounter between Sudeva Delhi FC and Delhi FC on January 2nd, 2024, which ended in a draw when Sudeva won a penalty in extra time and successfully equalized after Delhi FC took the lead in the first half. 

Ranjit Bajaj targets ‌ISL referees while calling state leagues fixed mentions Delhi Senior Premier League

Indian football is developing slowly, but at the pace it is currently growing, it might take several decades to get to a competitive level and possibly rank in the top 10 Asian teams. This expansion is impeded by the absence of a clear structure, thus state leagues serve as the main venue for young and aspirational people to display their abilities. Bajaj does, however, express reservations over the state leagues' current trajectory and the necessity for strategic changes in that area.

Taking to Twitter, Bajaj expressed his concerns, stating, 

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"This is what ISL referees & ISL linesman do in state leagues & then they are again given ISL matches - there is no accountability or transparency in any league in India - can’t believe how that can be a penalty 94th minute - it’s a huge statement I am making but DELHI SENIOR PREMIER league is fixed & main sponsor is DAFA bet for Delhi football association - no point playing in fixed leagues; it’s actively participating in killing the game - every game in the league has atrocious decisions no one cares @IndianFootball."

In addition to his claims of match-fixing, Ranjit Bajaj explicitly named the referees involved in the controversial match in the lower corner of the video he posted. Centre Referee Aditya Purkayashta and other referees Kuldeep Singh Tariyal and Rohit Pandey have been brought into the spotlight. Bajaj wants a thorough investigation into the match's officiating.

Bajaj's allegations shed light on what he perceives as a lack of accountability and transparency in the Indian football league system. Bajaj said that having DAFA bet as the main sponsor for the Delhi Senior Premier League raises eyebrows, questioning the integrity of the league. The serious accusation of match-fixing strikes at the heart of the sport, demanding urgent attention from football authorities.

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The controversial penalty awarded in the 94th minute of the Sudeva Delhi FC vs. Delhi FC match has become a focal point in Bajaj's argument. His claim that such decisions are actively harming the essence of the game and contributing to its demise is a strong statement that cannot be ignored.

As Ranjit Bajaj continues to champion the cause of fair play and transparency in Indian football, his allegations have ignited a crucial conversation about the state of football leagues in the country. It remains to be seen how football authorities will respond to these claims and what steps will be taken to ensure the integrity of the sport at all levels.

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Published January 19th, 2024 at 14:29 IST

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