Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj threatened that he will be shutting down the football club after six years of existence for the treatment handed out to them by the AIFF and FSDL, which runs the ISL.
With a very heavy heart today I have decided that @minervapunjabfc will have to do what so many others have done/CHAMPIONS of @ILeagueOfficial for 2018-19 for SENIORS/Under 13/ under 15 /under 18 - SIX TITLES(4 years) 60 plus boys to various Indian teams is going to shut— Ranjit Bajaj (@THE_RanjitBajaj) April 5, 2019
Bajaj made the statement after the Odisha Sports Authority denied the former I-League champions an opportunity to host matches at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers. The stadium is expected to undergo renovation after the completion of the ongoing Super Cup tournament.
Despite the Chandigarh based club being asked to seek a different venue,
After being champions playing in the @AFCCup was our right @minervapunjabfc but came to know who that it’s AIFF &(FSDL)who has got our permission cancelled -ODISHA sports dept is saying talk to them-I am shattered that my own parent body is sabotaging our afc stadium — Ranjit Bajaj (@THE_RanjitBajaj) April 5, 2019
Bajaj then went on state that AIFF and FSDL are trying to kill all football after not being able to get the Odisha government to cancel the stadium booking after the AFC Cup has started.
Sadly it’s crystal clear that instead of trying to promote football in INDIA /AIFF Along with FSDL RELIANCE is trying to kill all football which they can’t own/this low blow of getting odsiha govt to cancel the stadium booking after @AFCCup has started Is shameful — Ranjit Bajaj (@THE_RanjitBajaj) April 5, 2019
Minerva Punjab had earlier pulled out of the ongoing Super Cup along with seven other I-League teams, citing unfair treatment to the clubs by the AIFF.
As many as Eight I-League clubs had written a letter to the AIFF in February regarding multiple concerns such as the future of the league.
Many clubs are said to be worried that the I-League may be relegated to the second tier in the domestic restructuring in the near future based on the directions of the AFC.