CBI launches preliminary investigation into football match fixing claims
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is looking into up to five football clubs that compete in the I-league, the second division of Indian football, for possible match-fixing.
The CBI has reportedly opened a preliminary investigation into claims that football matches in the nation were fixed, according to a report by the news agency PTI.
The CBI has requested and gathered papers from the Delhi-based All India Football Federation (AIFF) on a number of Indian football clubs as part of the investigation, which started roughly a fortnight ago.
A Singapore-based suspected match fixer’s involvement in manipulating match outcomes is being investigated.
Since the investigation is still in its early stages, the officials refused to provide any information about the suspects mentioned in the preliminary inquiry.
Some records, they claimed, have been delivered to the agency, while others are still pending.
Numerous Indian football clubs have reportedly been asked to join the inquiry by the agency.
Two of the five clubs under investigation, according to individuals acquainted with the investigation, are Neroca FC, based in Imphal, and the now-defunct Indian Arrows, a football development team established by the AIFF in 2010 with the primary objective of developing young football potential in India.
Until the AIFF decided to stop playing in the I-league last year and instead concentrate on a new Elite Youth League (under 19) across the nation, the club competed in the I-league.
A representative for the Goa Football Association said that while they were not aware of any Goa-based football clubs being investigated by the CBI, they were happy to assist with any inquiry.
Citing the law, they claimed that the CBI was not permitted to conduct searches, arrests, or interrogations through summonses during the preliminary investigation.
According to them, the central investigation agency relies on the assistance of interested parties during the preliminary investigation and only files a FIR when it has evidence supporting a crime prima facie.
The only football team from the state now playing in the I-league is Churchill Brothers, owned by the former chief minister of Goa, Churchill Alemao. Salgaocar FC and Dempo SC withdrew from the competition after the I-league.
Suspicions of match-fixing in Indian football’s second and lower tiers have been raised following multiple games with odd scorelines, including matches in the Goa Professional League between professional clubs based in Goa.