The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) visited the AIFF headquarters in Delhi and has sought more information regarding the 5 clubs after it emerged that a Singapore-based match-fixer had invested massive sums into the teams.
While the world is glued to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, five football clubs in India are under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for possible match-fixing. The investigating agency has started a probe after it emerged that a Singapore-based match-fixer invested massive sums of money into the five Indian clubs.
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A CBI team visited the All India Football Federation (AIFF) headquarters in Delhi to seek more information about the football clubs. CBI is also investigating reports about Singapore-based match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal investing in the five clubs from the I-League. The probe agency was looking for more information on the financials of these clubs and their investments. Perumal has been involved in match-fixing scandals and rigging games in tournaments like the Olympics, World Cup qualifiers, women’s World Cup, Concacaf Gold Cup and African Cup of Nations.
"The AIFF has zero tolerance towards match-fixing and we have written to the clubs asking them to cooperate with the investigation. There are concerns about investments made by shell companies linked to the fixer. We will do whatever is needed to ensure that Indian football has no links with anyone remotely connected with match-fixing," AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran told Times of India.
CBI has also written to each of the clubs separately to gather information about all contracts and sponsorships, along with details of agencies involved in the signing of foreign players and technical staff.
The I-League has been played in West Bengal in the past couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second-tier Indian football league was being organised within a bio-bubble. The league was relegated to India’s second league after the start and popularity of the Indian Super League (ISL).
There have been other reports of possible match fixing in Indian football. Between March 15 and March 24 this year, six matches of the Goa Pro League, the state league in Goa, were red-flagged for suspicion of match-fixing due to suspicious betting patterns and unusual results.