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AIFF slaps one-year ban on Bajaj

Chandigarh:Ranjit Bajaj, the owner of I-League champions Minerva Punjab FC, has been found guilty of making racist remarks against a referee during a junior league match last Saturday and handed a one-year ban and fined Rs 10 lakh. The ban comes into effect immediately, and the fine of Rs 10 lakh must be paid by Bajaj within 10 days from the date of the communication of the penalty, which was decided on Sunday.

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) disciplinary committee said today that Bajaj made racial remarks and hurled abuses at referee Pynskhemhame Mawthoh during Minerva’s Under-18 Youth League play-off match against Aizwal FC in Shillong on May 12. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. According to sources, an angry Bajaj made remarks to the effect that the referee from the Northeast could not see properly — ‘dikhai nahin deta’.

The disciplinary committee, chaired by Ushanath Banerjee, said in its report that this was the fourth offence committed by Bajaj in a span of one year. “The committee holds Bajaj guilty of committing serious acts of infringements and imposes, with sanctions, a suspension of 12 months,” the disciplinary committee said in its 11-page report.