Is Indian football on the radar of corruptors?

AIFF on guard as president Kalyan Chaubey admits to approaches being made to I-League players

Representative image (photo: AIFF)
Representative image (photo: AIFF)

NH Sports Bureau

Is the I-League, the professional football league in India for 16 years, on the radar of corruptors in the game? The All-India Football Federation (AIFF) has admitted of instances where a few of their registered players have been approached in a bid to manipulate matches in the ongoing edition, and wants all their stakeholders to keep an eye to thwart it.  

AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey said in a statement on Thursday: "We have received information of multiple approaches to our players. We will thoroughly examine the incidents, investigate, and take all necessary action." The press release does not single out any specific incident, setting off speculation about the possible source of such approaches.  

The 13-team league, rebranded from the erstwhile National Football League in 2007, is conducted on a promotion-relegation basis and is responsible for providing the supply line of Indian footballers for the premier Indian Super League (ISL). Round Glass Punjab are the reigning champions while Mohammedan Sporting is the only club from Kolkata in the fray this year.  

AIFF says it has taken serious note of this matter and would like to reiterate its ‘zero-tolerance policy’ towards any activity that impacts the integrity of its competitions or otherwise brings the game of football into disrepute. ‘’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,’’ Chaubey said. 

‘’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,” he added.

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