Kerala Blasters FC temporarily pull the plug on women's team due to financial sanctions imposed by AIFF 

Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters FC's women team finished third in the Kerala Women's League (Image Credits: Twitter)

Kerala Blasters FC have announced their decision to temporarily pause their women’s team due to the financial sanctions imposed by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The decision by Kerala Blasters men’s team head coach Ivan Vukomanovic to walk off the pitch mid-way through the playoff tie against Bengaluru FC has resulted in massive consequences for the club.

The AIFF disciplinary committee imposed a ₹4 crore fine on the club and a ₹5 lakh fine on Vukomanvoic. Additionally, the Serbian tactician was handed a 10-match ban ahead of the Hero Super Cup.

Kerala Blasters FC and their coach were ordered to issue public apologies, failing which the fines would be raised to ₹6 crore and ₹10 lakh, respectively. The AIFF committee also rejected the club’s recent appeal against the fine imposed on them.

Kerala Blasters, in a statement, stated their disappointment to temporarily discontinue the women’s team due to financial constraints.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the temporary pause of our Women’s Team. This decision has been necessitated by the recent financial sanctions imposed on our club by the football federation. While we respect the authority and decisions of the federation, we cannot deny our disappointment at the impact it is likely to have across various functions of our Club."

Indian women’s team goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan was vocal on social media and questioned Kerala Blasters’ choice to disband the women’s team.

Kerala Blasters women's team, which was founded in 2022, had a promising debut season, finishing third behind Gokulam Kerala FC and Lords FA in the Kerala Women's League.

What happened during Kerala Blasters FC’s tie against Bengaluru FC that resulted in huge ramifications?

Kerala Blasters FC faced their arch-rivals Bengaluru FC in a crucial playoff match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium for a place in the 2022-23 ISL semi-finals.

Nothing could seperate both sides after the regulation time. With the game poised to move into extra time, the tension in the stands and the pitch were seemingly palpable.

Towards the end of the first half of extra time, Kerala Blasters’ Vibin Mohanan cynically fouled Sunil Chhetri near the edge of the box. As the Blasters' keeper, Prabsukhan Gill was setting up the wall, Chhetri improvised with a quickly taken free-kick, which caught Kerala Blasters by surprise.

The referee awarded the goal, following which Vukomanvic stormed onto the pitch and instructed his players to abandon the game in protest of the decision. The Tuskers failed to return to the field and as a result, Bengaluru FC were handed the victory.

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Edited by Diptanil
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