January 29, 2018 / 8:43 AM / 25 days ago

India club say match-fixing approaches made on social media

MUMBAI (Reuters) - An Indian football club has written to the country’s governing body alleging several of their players have been approached via social media to fix matches.

Earlier this month, Minerva Punjab FC said two players were made offers of 3 million rupees ($47,218) through WhatsApp and Instagram as well as text messages and that they reported the matter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The current I-League leaders said they had also reported the matter on the Asian Football Confederation’s integrity app.

Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj wrote on social media on Sunday that five more players had been approached to fix matches.

“Another low for Indian football with another five of my players being asked to fix matches in the I-League, taking the numbers to seven,” he said.

Javed Siraj, the AIFF’s integrity officer, confirmed receiving the letter from the club and said the governing body was taking it seriously.

“We are on the job and are doing whatever we can in our parameters,” Siraj told Reuters.

Bajaj said he had been asked not to comment on the matter as it was under investigation.

“I am really surprised that we are the first to report this. It can’t be that this is happening for the first time,” Bajaj told Reuters.

“The AIFF needs to deal with it very seriously as it can destroy the integrity and reputation of the sport in the country.”

($1 = 63.5350 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Peter Rutherford

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