The committee that was formed to look into the matter was comprised of mostly UT members according to the club.
The reigning I-League champions, Minerva Punjab were subjected to reports stating that the side had been banned by the UT Sports department for a period of three years, following claims that they fielded overage players in the final of the 16th All-India Administrator’s U-17 Challenge Cup against Chandigarh Football Club.
In an official club statement, Minerva Punjab FC branded the reports as an attempt by the UT Sports administration to ensure that their side won the trophy.
The club claimed that the tournament administration had not informed them about a ban but that a complaint accusing Minerva Punjab of fielding overage players had been submitted by the CFA.
In response to the complaint, Minerva Punjab countered with a complaint against CFA’s top scorer, Shabby Khan who had allegedly submitted fake documents in an attempt to hide his age.
“In the meantime, Minerva Punjab FC filed a counter-complaint against CFA top scorer Shabby Khan, submitting his true and original date of birth certificate to the authorities showing he had shown false documents to reduce his age. Being one of the key players in their tournament and scoring most of the goals that got CFA into the final of the tournament, the complaint should’ve been taken seriously by the tournament committee but was completely overlooked and no response was received on the same”
The committee that was formed to look into the matter was comprised of mostly UT members according to Minerva who protested.
“The UT department claimed to have changed the members but all actions were taken by the same individuals behind closed doors”
The club claimed that the UT had given the CFA over two months to produce evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Minerva Punjab. However, none of the proof had been shared with the club.
Minerva Punjab FC will seek the help of the High Court in resolving the issue as there was no hearing or decision made regarding the ban.
Minerva Punjab FC have been the winners of the competition for the last three years, prior to which CFA were the consistent champions. The club believe that these reports are an attempt to ensure that the CFA continue to win the tournament on a yearly basis.
The I-League champions, who defeated CFA by two goals to nil will be stripped of the title and the cash prize if reports are to be believed.