TRAU FC coach Dimitris Dimitriou reverses allegations of match-fixing made by the club (Exclusive)

Dimitris Dimitriou (left) addresses the media after TRAU FC's victory over Aizawl FC (Image: I-League)
Dimitris Dimitriou (left) addresses the media after TRAU FC's victory over Aizawl FC (Image: I-League)

In a bizarre sequence of events, TRAU FC sacked their head coach Dimitris Dimitrou after he led them to four back-to-back victories in the I-League this season. The club made the statement via their Facebook page and even hinted at match-fixing.

However, when Sportskeeda contacted the former Manchester City youth coach, he rubbished those claims and reversed the allegations on TRAU FC's secretary Phulen Meitei. He said,

"This (match-fixing allegation) is rubbish. I joined them after three matches when the team was at the bottom and had zero wins. I came and got them two draws and four wins. How is this possible? This is all down to Mr Phulen's ego."
Facebook comment by TRAU FC's admin
Facebook comment by TRAU FC's admin

The 49-year-old further added that Phulen Meitei also wanted to add some clauses to his existing contract which he refused.

"He wanted to renegotiate my contract and reduce my salary. He also wanted another clause in the contract where it would be mentioned that the starting XI and matchday squad would be selected by him. I told him to simply 'f*** off'. I am going to take this matter to FIFA with my agent."

Surprisingly, this isn't the first instance of TRAU FC's head coach accusing the club of not having the control over selection of starting XI in this season of I-League.

In an interview with Telegraph India, their former coach Douglas Da Silva hinted at resignation over this issue. The Brazilian claimed that he didn't decide the starting XI which TRAU FC fielded against Quess East Bengal FC. Douglas ended his association with the club after that match.

Dimitris went on to add that the club even shot videos of his training style secretly in order to implement them later on.

"I focus a lot on corner kicks. If you see the matches, you will know that we scored four goals through corner-kicks after I came. We put in a lot of effort on that. He wanted to copy that too."

Dimitris was originally slated to take over TRAU FC before the I-League began but parted ways in October without helming a single match. Despite having offers from Thailand, he opted to come back.

"I went to TRAU FC without knowing the club. I loved the working efforts of the players and their commitment and discipline. I also loved the simple people of TRAU FC. I am very sorry that Phulen's ego is destroying everything. I am aware of the fans' love to me and my players. I love my players and if they need me I will be with them. I have a ticket to Kochi on the 30th. If my boys want me, I can go with my expenses."

Regarding the Facebook post, Dimitri says that this is all a ploy by Phulen to embarass him.

"Whatever you see in Facebook, it is all put by Mr Phulen. He is the admin and posts such things to humiliate me. He is jealous of me, that's all."

There were rumors doing rounds that one of TRAU's Singapore-based investor also owns a betting company and influenced the starting line-up indirectly. But, Dimitris claimed to have no knowledge about it.

"Honestly, I have no clue about it. This is the first time I am hearing such a thing."

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Edited by A. Ayush Chatterjee
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