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I-League players approached for match manipulation: AIFF

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) issued a statement on Thursday, saying that it has found that certain approaches have recently been made to AIFF-registered players to manipulate matches of the ongoing I-League competition.

AIFF said it has taken ‘serious’ note of this matter – “[The AIFF] 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. AIFF is committed to taking every step within its power to prevent corrupt practices from undermining the values of football,” the statement said.

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

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AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey said, “We have received information on multiple approaches to our players. We will thoroughly examine the incidents, investigate, and take all necessary action.

“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.

“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,” concluded Chaubey.

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) 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.

(with inputs from PTI)

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