'I am being made a scapegoat'

Suspended Royal's co-owner Kundra to fight BCCI decision

'I am being made a scapegoat'

Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra called his suspension a “unilateral decision” by the BCCI and said he would fight the verdict.

Kundra said he was shocked and upset by the decision, which he insisted was taken without proofs.

“All sorts of accusations were made against me without proof, by people in powerful positions. It is sad that without accurate facts, I am being made a scapegoat and put under trial by the media based on unproved claims,” Kundra said in a statement on Monday. "I am shocked and upset at the unilateral decision taken today by the BCCI and will fight the grounds of suspension.”

Kundra said he had been among the few to have taken initiatives in sports development in India and therefore “hurt” to find his integrity questioned.

“I own a minority 11.7% share in Rajasthan Royals as well as a majority share of the Super Fight League in India which has become the largest MMA league in Asia within a year of its launch. I have singlehandedly provided job opportunities and training to 200 Indian fighters who were doing nothing but misusing their strength on the streets or in underground illegal fight clubs. I am currently working on football to develop its popularity amongst youngsters and also to provide better infrastructure and training to them,” he said.

“It shocks, saddens and hurts me when my integrity towards Sport is questioned, especially knowing that there are very few who have taken the initiative and been successful in the development of sport in India.” Kundra said being a British national he could have bet on any betting website legally if he wanted.

“I am afraid that rampant corruption at different levels would serve a deterrent for foreign investors who may otherwise be willing to invest in India. People need to realise that as a British national and NRI, If I wanted to bet I could have done so off-shore on any  betting website legally. However, I did not do so as the IPL contract as per ACSU rules clearly states that owners cannot bet on the IPL.”

The 37-year-old businessman said the team owners should be involved in decision making. “In many BCCI meetings I have often suggested that team-owners be given a seat on the IPL governing board so that owners are involved in decision making, as in many international sports bodies. Us owners are the ones to have heavily invested in the IPL and should have a voice in its functioning, however till date no team owner’s body has been welcomed. "I close by saying I trust in Justice and India!"

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals had distanced themselves from Kundra saying that the British national who marriedBollywood actress Shilpa Shetty was only a minor shareholder in the franchise with no powers in running the team.

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