I-League 2018: 'Sanctions imposed on Ranjit Bajaj without any hearing,' claims wife and co-owner of Minerva Punjab Henna Singh
What’s the story?
I-League champions Minerva Punjab suffered a huge blow after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) decided to impose a stadium ban on owner Ranjit Bajaj, who had allegedly hurled racial abuses at a referee.
Now, his fellow club director and wife Henna Singh has lashed out at the AIFF, saying that her husband has been wrongly been reprimanded. Henna, who is also Bajaj's wife, even went on to state that the latter did not even get a proper trial before the ban. A fine was also slapped slapped on Ranjit with utter disregard.
In case you didn’t know…
Minerva Punjab have had one of their best seasons in the top flight, as they finished ahead of traditional giants like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, clinching the title. However, dark clouds soon began hovering over Minerva, as the AIFF ruled that Bajaj has been found guilty of racially abusing a Referee at a Youth League play-off match against Aizawl FC.
He was thereby suspended by the All India Football Federation and a hefty fine of Rs. 10 lakh was slapped upon him, which he will have to pay within 10 days of receiving communication of this decision.
Bajaj, however, has entirely denied the allegation of hurling racial abuses. The Disciplinary Committee of AIFF claims this to be the fourth offence committed by Bajaj within a year and has thereby taken such strict action.
The heart of the matter
It did not take long for Henna to come out all guns blazing in support of her fellow club owner, Ranjit. She even alleges foul play by various 'powers' who are finding it difficult to cope with Minerva Punjab FC and their resurgence to the top.
She has been extremely sarcastic in some of the tweets, openly countering all the claims single-handedly.
The Minerva co-owner also went on to question how Bajaj can be biased against Northeastern players, when half the people in the club are from that region of the country.
As part of this ban, Bajaj will not be allowed to enter a stadium or even be part of any football activity under the AIFF for that matter unless there is a change of plans and the suspension is lifted. Minerva will be appealing the decision.
There is absolutely no scope for racism in football. Having said that, we need to take into account the different sides of the story. If Henna's claims that Bajaj did not even get a proper trial are true, then these allegations against AIFF need to be looked into as well.