Mohammedan Sporting drop all players related to Minerva Punjab as allegations of match fixing come out


Mohammedan SC officials suspected that Minerva Academy’s head, Ranjit Bajaj, had been trying to influence the results of I-League 2nd division qualifiers. Bajaj recently visited Kolkata during the I-League 2nd division qualifiers and stayed at the Hyatt Regency, the hotel where the bio bubble has been set-up.

Mohammedan Sporting drop all players related to Minerva Punjab as allegations of match fixing come out images 9
Ranjit Bajaj (Minerva Academy head)

Bajaj’s response to this allegation goes as follows – “I find this issue very funny and it is beyond someone’s wildest imaginations. All I can say is that I’m the one who helped Mohammedan SC get six of their best players and three staffs for them and in spite of that if I’m to face such allegations, it’s a really sad day for Indian football.” He continued, “If there’s a bio bubble that means the players will not be allowed to interact with any outsiders and vice versa. Supposing I was to violate that boundary then what’s the use of keeping it?”

Bajaj also claimed that his booking at the hotel was done one month in advance and he was there to witness the trials of Delhi FC. He said that if his intention was to influence the results then he would have rather done it through WhatsApp and not waste his money by staying at the Hyatt.

The question that arose in this allegation was that how did Bajaj arrive in Kolkata exactly at the time of the qualifiers and why did Bajaj particularly chose to stay at the Hyatt Regency. Mohammedan SC officials suspect that the match could have plausibly been fixed because they have many players who previously were a part of Punjab FC, too, and also their coach, Yan Law, was the coach of Punjab FC last season.

Due to this allegation, Mohammedan SC had dropped Samuel Shadap, Munmun Timothy Lugun, Himanshu Jangra and Moinuddin from the team list. These players were previously related to the coach from Punjab FC and they were a strong addition to the Mohammedan SC side and played important roles in winning the first qualifiers against Garhwal Football Club with Munmum Lugun bagging a last minute screamer to seal the scoreline. The on-field formation of the team was also changed from the previous match and authorities weren’t very happy with the coach’s decision. Bajaj said – “If this is the case then they should have dropped Yan Law as well”.

The floors in the hotel where the players are staying are sealed off and outsiders will not be allowed to enter those floors. The authorities in-charge of Mohammedan SC have increased the overall surveillance on the team and the coach, and the players, along with the secretaries Dipendu Biswas and Wasim Akram, are said to be meeting via video call.