Former I-League champions Minerva Punjab FC’s owner Ranjit Bajaj has been let off with a reprimand by the All India Football Federation’s Ethics Committee for his constant social media criticism directed to the national governing body and its partners.
The I-League Committee had, in April, “unanimously” decided to refer Bajaj’s frequent “outbursts” on social media against the AIFF to the Ethics Committee, which issued a show-cause to the Minerva owner in July.
“I am yet to get the order of the AIFF Ethics Committee but I have got confirmation from my sources that I have been let off with a reprimand,” Bajaj was quoted as saying by PTI.
In a separate statement, Bajaj said, “Criticism is healthy and necessary, my intention has always been to shine a light on any unfair practices being followed, and I intend to do my bit to fix that...I have no choice but to speak out on twitter.
“I’m thankful to the Ethics Committee for understanding my perspective and I will surely be taking their advice regarding using proper language to get my point and information across.”
In reply to the show-cause notices and during the personal hearing with the Ethics Committee, he had stated that he was simply exercising his freedom of speech and “was well within his rights to criticise the running and functioning of the National Sports Federation as key stakeholder”.
Even after the decision of the AIFF to refer his case to the Ethics Committee in April, Bajaj had tweeted: “Is it a sin to speak against the blatant injustice against the I-League clubs? AIFF says yes. So, we should die quietly (sic)”