Minerva owner Bajaj suspended for a year, fined Rs 10 lakh for racial abuse

Match commissioner Biswajit Mitra concurred that Bajaj had hurled racial abuses, something the Minerva owner has denied.

This was Bajaj's fourth offence within a year.   -  Sahil Nanda

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Monday banned I-League champion Minerva Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj from all football activity for one year and levied a fine of Rs 10 lakh after the latter was found ‘guilty’ of making racist remarks against a referee. This was Bajaj's fourth offence within a year.

The latest incident took place during Minerva’s Under-18 Youth League playoff match against Aizawl FC that ended in a 1-1 draw at the JLN Stadium in Shillong on May 12.

According to the findings, Bajaj hurled racial abuses at referee Pynskhemhame Mawthoh, who hails from the North East.

“The Committee holds Bajaj guilty of committing serious gross acts of infringements and imposes a suspension of 12 months,” the disciplinary committee said in its 11-page report which is in possession of PTI.

During the period of suspension, Bajaj will be denied entry to any stadium hosting a tournament under the aegis of the AIFF.

Bajaj has 10 days - from the date of communication (Sunday) - to pay the fine.

“In default of which, suspension and the ban shall continue for the delayed period over and above 12 months, till payment in full,” said AIFF disciplinary committee, chaired by Ushanath Banerjee, in the report.

Match commissioner Biswajit Mitra concurred that Bajaj had hurled racial abuses, something the Minerva owner has denied.

“Bajaj acted like a criminal indulging in series of hooliganism, abusing the match officials in filthy languages, threatening them openly, making racist remarks against the match officials. Certainly, none of these can be equated with an educated guardian of a sports club,” it added.

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