CBI Probes Match-Fixing of Football Matches, Five Indian Clubs on Target

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate match-fixing of football matches after learning about an international fixer who allegedly invested “huge amount of money” in at least five Indian football clubs through shell companies.

Last week, CBI officials visited the All India Football Federation (AIFF) headquarters in Delhi and collected detailed information about the clubs and their investments.

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According to Times of India, Wilson Raj Perumal, a Singapore-based match-fixer, who was first jailed for match-fixing in Singapore in 1995 and convicted in Finland and Hungary, is behind this case. The reports said that he invested in Indian clubs through Living 3D Holdings Ltd.

It is however to be noted that the fixer has been linked to other prestigious tournaments in the past as well, including the Olympics, World Cup qualifiers, women’s World Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup and African Cup of Nations.

AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran told TOI, “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.”

The CBI has also written to the clubs, seeking information about all the contracts, sponsorships, besides the agencies involved in signing of foreign players and technical staff. TOI reported that the list curiously includes Indian Arrows, the developmental side of the AIFF which played in the I-League. However, it’s not there in this season as it was disbanded by the new executive committee, led by former India goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey.

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It is a serious case of investigating as to how Indian Arrows landed up in fixing scandal. An official from AIFF told TOI, “We can’t really understand how Indian Arrows are among the five clubs. The Arrows were funded by the AIFF and the Odisha government and did not have any foreign players or foreign staff (for the past four years). It could possibly be some individuals associated with the team,”

This is for the first time when fixing in Indian football has come out in such an open fashion as it is mostly a well kept secret.

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