I-League 2017/18: Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj denies reports of media boycott
Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj, on Tuesday, denied all reports of media boycotting the club's post-match press conference.
On Monday, the Chandigarh-based club regained the top spot in the league table as they registered a 2-0 win over defending champions Aizawl FC at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium. As per reports, although the media attended Aizawl's briefing, they boycotted Minerva's briefing.
"No media boycotted anything. Everybody came and there was excellent coverage in all the papers. In fact, the press conference took place as planned. It is just one person spreading rumours," Bajaj told Sportskeeda over the phone.
Our correspondent, who was present at the scene, reported that only a few scribes had boycotted the press conference in protest of an incident that took place on Sunday while most of the reporters stayed back.
The incident in question involved a reporter from a particular publication being barred from entering the stadium to cover the match. When asked about it, Bajaj said that in contrary to media reports, no gag order had been issued against anyone.
"As we had stated in our official press release, there no gag order was issued. Everyone is welcome and we have even written to the publication in question that they are most welcome to come and cover the proceedings. They even sent a different photographer and that photographer covered the conference.
"A gag is when you ban a media house or a publication. We are saying that you can send anyone but this one particular person, against whom we have got three defamation cases for falsifying, fabricating and sensationalising reports," he said.
The Minerva management is apparently upset with a news report which highlighted how an armed man had been roaming on the stadium premises during an I-League match between Minerva and Gokulam Kerala FC. It so turned out that the gun-toting man is a personal security officer of one of the directors of the club.
Amidst all this controversy, though, Minerva's title chase has not been hindered one bit as they still hold a one-point lead over second-placed NEROCA with a game in hand. They need four more points from their last two games to secure the title.