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I-League 2017: Minerva Punjab owner slams AIFF for disallowing national anthem before match

918   //    08 Dec 2017, 12:00 IST

Ranjit Bajaj

What's the story?

Minerva Punjab FC's owner Ranjit Bajaj took to Twitter on Thursday to express his displeasure with respect to the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) decision to disallow playing of the national anthem ahead of I-League matches.

Bajaj openly criticised the federation and could be seen miffed at the move made by the AIFF which surprisingly allows the anthem to be played in the Indian Super League.

In case you didn't know

Having finished as the runners-up in the I-League 2nd division, Minerva Punjab FC was rewarded with a direct entry into the I-League last season and the team has gone step by step to improve drastically this year even in the absence of the star players from the U17 World Cup who are on a loan to the Indian Arrows.

Heart of the Matter

Ever since the inception of the Indian Super League, every match is preceded by the customary rendering of the national anthem, which is surprisingly not allowed in the I-League.

Irked by the ruling of the AIFF to disallow the anthem in the I-League, Bajaj took to Twitter to convey his astonishment at the move while adding that he would be thrilled to have the national anthem played at Minerva Punjab FC's home ground, the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana.

Based on a reply he got to his tweet, Bajaj claimed that while AIFF supports both the ISL and I-League, it was the match commissioner who forced them not to play the anthem, threatening them with a ban and a fine if they went against his words.

What's Next?

After a comfortable win against the Indian Arrows in their previous game, Minerva will face the Arrows yet again in their next encounter on the 18th of December 2017.

Author's Take

It is indeed a very proud moment for any sports star to represent a particular team and the feeling only multiplies when they represent the country. Even while playing leagues in the country, standing in front of thousands of fans and reciting the national anthem alongside your team is a special feeling and it's about time that the national anthems are played ahead of the games in the I-League as well.

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