Fixing allegations haunt DSA

The apparent rise in the quality of football in the current DSA senior division league couldn't have come with a worse rider — allegations of underperformance against Ahbab FC and Garhwal Heroes that enabled Youngmen FC save relegation,while the Air Force (New Delhi) team were demoted.

Written by Saikat Sarkar | New Delhi | Published:January 22, 2009 12:47 am

Ahbab FC,Garhwal Heroes accused of deliberate underperformance in senior division matches

The apparent rise in the quality of football in the current DSA senior division league couldn’t have come with a worse rider — allegations of underperformance against Ahbab FC and Garhwal Heroes that enabled Youngmen FC save relegation,while the Air Force (New Delhi) team were demoted.

Youngmen FC needed four points from two matches to avoid the ignominy,but given their form and the opponents,the task seemed huge. But despite the odds,they drew with Garhwal Heroes before registering a 2-1 victory over Ahbab,a highly rated team in the Capital.

“Both teams (Ahbab FC and Garhwal Heroes) were in a comfortable position having qualified for the super league,so they didn’t mind throwing the matches that favoured the other team. Anybody who’s seen the matches would feel they weren’t played in the right spirit,” a source said.

Ahbab FC secretary,Khurram Raza denied the charge and blamed the tiring schedule for the defeat. “We had no reason to do so (throw the match). Had we won,we’ve been the group-toppers. We were already weakened by the absence of stopper Rohit Upadhyay and coach Aftab Ashraf who received red cards during the match against Garhwal Heroes. More than anything else,we lost the match due to the schedule. Having played against Garhwal (Heroes) the last evening,it was difficult for the boys to play early in the morning the next day,” Raza clarified.

The Garhwal Heroes administration,on the other hand,said that their low-profile standing in the Capital has hardly left them with these things to consider. “We aren’t among the high-budget clubs. So,we don’t have the best team too. Under these circumstances,we can’t even think of underperforming. We lost to a better team on that day. All this is a part of a conspiracy,” said Magan Singh Patwal of the Heroes.

Repeat telecast
While it’s not the first time that allegations of match-fixing have surfaced in Delhi football,the state body has taken no concrete steps to dispel concerns. The DSA almost ritually rubbishes suggestions,it admits it’s helpless if clubs are intentionally not fielding full strength squads.“It’s only a presumption. Last year we had formed a special committee after such incidents were reported. But it’s very difficult to prove the offence even if it’s happening in front of your eyes. There’s no yardstick. Most teams get away with excuses. If they say they couldn’t play their full-strength team,we can’t do anything,” said DSA secretary NK Bhatia.

The functioning of the committee,however,is subjective. “The committee keeps an eye over only those matches where there’s an apprehension. We’ll ensure it (committee) monitors the upcoming super league properly,” Bhatia added.

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