Air India allege match fixing in Super Division

Accuse Greater Mumbai Police and Mumbai United of intentionally losing matches to GM Franco; MDFA to conduct inquiry.

Written by Mihir Vasavda | Published:May 2, 2013 12:16 am

Accuse Greater Mumbai Police and Mumbai United of intentionally losing matches to GM Franco; MDFA to conduct inquiry.

Mumbai football has been stung by match fixing allegations after Air India U-19 coach Godfrey Pereira accused Greater Mumbai Police and Mumbai United of deliberately losing to GM Franco by big margins in the Super Division matches last week.

Pereira also hinted at a conspiracy on the part of Bombay Gymkhana,who failed to turn up for a crucial match against Air India which eventually paved the way for GM Franco to reach the playoffs. In his letter to Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) secretary Souter Vaz on Tuesday,Pereira accused the teams of ungentlemanly behaviour and intentionally giving away matches to GM Franco.

Air India and GM Franco were in contention for the second playoff spot after Karnataka Sporting Association had already sealed their place in the final round. While GM Franco finished the league stage with 20 points from nine matches,and goal difference of 25,Air India had 17 points to their name from eight matches and goal difference of 15. In their final match against Bombay Gymkhana,they needed to win by a margin of 11 goals to qualify for the playoffs. However,with Bombay Gymkhana not turning up at the last minute,they were awarded a 3-0 win according to the rules,thus ending their hopes of making the playoffs.

Pereira said GM Police and Mumbai United lost by big margins deliberately so that GM Franco could improve their goal difference. “I would like to bring to your notice that the match between GM Police and GM Franco played on 26/4/2013 was intentionally given away (ungentlemanly behaviour) and the score read 2-6. The second match played between GM Franco and Mumbai United on 29/04/2013 was also given away (ungentlemanly behaviour) and the score read 7-1,” Pereira said in the letter,a copy of which is available with The Indian Express. “These two matches were played under doubtful circumstances which the teams conceded so many goals in the interest of GM Franco. We request you to please look into the matter which is shameful and disgrace to the game of football.”

Pereira expressed surprise at Bombay Gymkhana’s failure to turn up for the crucial last match and has requested a rematch. “The match between Bombay Gymkhana and Air India U-19 was a walkover which was to be played on 30/4/2013 as Bombay Gymkhana failed to turn up for the match depriving us of a chance to enhance our goal average and bolster our chances to qualify for the play off. We request you to please arrange for a rematch so that we can prove ourselves to get a second chance to qualify for the play off,” he said.

While officials from GM Franco were not available for comments,Vaz said they will conduct an inquiry and see if there is any merit in the allegations made by Air India. “I have asked for reports from the referees and match officials present at the said matches. We will study the reports thoroughly and then decide the future course of action,” Vaz said,adding that they will also launch an inquiry on Bombay Gymkhana’s absence from the last match. “They said some of their players had to appear for exams. But the schedule was out long before so they could have at least informed us in advance. Not turning up for a match is a serious offense and the committee will deal with it in an appropriate manner,” he said.

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