News 6 January 2016

FC Goa charged over match-fixing allegations

Indian Super League (ISL) football club FC Goa today attended a disciplinary hearing after being charged with breaching ISL regulations for boycotting the ISL championship ceremony, due to allegations that its 3-2 loss to Chennai FC in the ISL final was fixed. ‘FC Goa have been charged under the ISL Regulations for “boycotting match and league ceremony”, “public criticism and threatening match officials”, “allegation of match fixing”, and “non-adherence of League rules”, read an ISL statement issued today.

The club also faces further charges from the All India Football Federation (AIFF). ‘AIFF DC panel has charged FC Goa under its Article 53 (Team Misconduct), Article 58 (Offensive Behaviour and Fair Play), Article 60 (Threat) and ISL Regulation Article 22.2 for boycotting match ceremony, engaging in public criticism of match officials and allegation of match fixing (‘or words to that effect’) by the club official’, read a 2 January statement.

The ISL said that the charges were due to comments made by FC Goa management ‘disputing the result of the ISL 2015 final’ on 20 December. “There were two penalties given and last five minutes everything changed”, FC Goa co-owner Dattaraj Salgaocar told the Times of India on 21 December. “Every time we say something it is never taken seriously. It was terrible refereeing, one-sided and [if] it was decided to give Chennai the game, there was no point in Goa playing. It was for that we boycotted. It was all decided that Chennai should win this game and the referee took all action to support that decision. Everybody on television or otherwise can see that.”

Dattaraj also filed a First Information Report (FIR) in relation to an alleged assault by Elano Blumer, Chennai’s Brazilian captain, which led to his arrest. “The boycott was a protest against the refereeing and assault on me by Elano,” Dattaraj told the Times of India. “After the game when I went back to our dug-out, I saw Elano and went to greet him. I told him that I quite like the way he plays. He caught me by the neck and assaulted me with his elbow. I almost fell down. All players were upset and I (later) filed an FIR. He also abused me.”

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