Kolkata, Sep 8: A betting charge is looming over Kolkata football as the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has asked the IFA to investigate an alleged fixed match between Tollygunge Agragami and Rainbow FC of CFL 2017.
Both the clubs' officials and their respective managers have duly denied the allegation, however, these kinds of allegations are not new to Kolkata football.
CFL is regarded as a secondary Indian domestic tournament where all the notable clubs from Bengal participate to compete to be the best among them. However, as this tournament is not in the higher spotlight, many allegations have often been raised in the circuit.
Earlier in 2015, similar kind of question was raised over between a match of Tollygunge Agragami and Southern Samiti. Reportedly, the conclusion of the match was earlier decided by the officials.
Southern Samiti was at 12 points from seven matches that time whereas Tollygunge was at the bottom zone. Three points to Tollygunge could save their season and just like the agreed condition, a 4-0 win for Tollygunge was the end conclusion.
In the match, Southern players from the start played negative football and did not even bother to try for a goal. The notable accusation also became strong when Southern was seen fielding a team of youngsters who were not even on the bench during the tournament.
Many questions were raised from the onlookers and several reports were lodged that time, however, no actions were taken and both the team were declared free of any guilt.
Thus, this sort of betting and set up is not unusual to Kolkata football.
In the earlier 70's and 80's many teams who had powerful politician and leaders as the club chief, often used to negotiate a deal with the opponent clubs for a fair result.
However, most of these actions happened in the lower clubs but there is also sufficient evidence that paying off smaller clubs to lose matches against big teams was a typical practice in the earlier years.
But, since the last decade, actions have been taken to remove and demolish such practices and many bodies were formed to look after such issues although the recent allegations have again proved that such kind of betting and match fixings is happening quietly in the background of Kolkata football.
CFL is an age-old league tournament and currently most of the top teams play their academy prejudice in this tournament to witness their worth, and we hope that such tournament will be free of from all the accusations in the future and FIFA, AIFF and IFA will take quick action to resolve the issue for a clean and better football for tomorrow.
However, if stern actions are not taken frequently on this kind of malpractices, we doubt in future if anyone would trust the players and teams and such a situation could unquestionably destroy the importance of such a prestigious old tournament.