ISL: Kerala Blasters fined Rs 4 crore for walkout, coach Vukomanovic suspended for 10 matches
The team has also been asked to issue a “public apology for its unsporting conduct” of abandoning the match, failing which the fine will rise to Rs 6 crore.
Published: 01st April 2023 05:17 PM | Last Updated: 01st April 2023 05:32 PM | A+A A-
The All India Football Federation's disciplinary committee on Friday imposed a fine of Rs 4 crore on the Kerala Blasters FC team for walking off the pitch and thereby forfeiting its Indian Super League (ISL) playoff match against Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on March 3.
The team's head coach Ivan Vukomanovic has been handed a 10-match suspension for “bringing the game into disrepute.” The team has also been asked to issue a “public apology for its unsporting conduct” of abandoning the match, failing which the fine will rise to Rs. 6 crore.
Vukomanovic was penalised “with a 10-match ban/suspension from AIFF held tournaments irrespective of whichever team he is contracted with, along with a fine of Rs 5 lakh under Article 9.1.2 (of the AIFF disciplinary code),” disciplinary committee chairperson Vaibhav Gaggar said in the order.
The ban means the coach will not be permitted to be part of the team dressing room and/or the team bench.
AIFF Disciplinary Committee issues order on abandoned Hero ISL tie #IndianFootball— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) March 31, 2023
KBFC’s actions came after Sunil Chhetri scored from a quickly-taken freekick for BFC. The club filed a protest to the AIFF against referee Crystal John’s decision to allow Chhetri to take the free-kick that resulted in the goal.
The disciplinary committee said that Kerala Blasters’ behaviour of having complete disregard for the rules and regulations of the game has brought reputational damage to not only the sport, the referee and the club, but also AIFF, and such misconduct is “deeply condemned.”
The committee has directed both the team and Vukomanovic to comply with this order within one week. However, both parties have the right to file an appeal against the order.
It also noted that "abandonment of a game is one of the rarest occurrences in global sporting history, especially in football."
In India, this is only the second time in professional football recorded history that a team has abandoned a match. The only other time such an act occurred was in a 2012 match between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.