The Indian Super League (ISL) saw an unprecedented incident of walkout by Kerala Blasters against Bengaluru FC in March this year, which resulted in the former being handed a huge penalty by the All India Football Federation’s disciplinary committee.
Here are the key highlights of the incident and its aftermath: Kerala Blasters Coach Vukomanovic Banned for 10 Matches, Club Fined Rs 4 Crore for Walkout Against Bengaluru FC
- The AIFF’s disciplinary committee has slapped an Rs. 4 crores fine on Kerala Blasters for their unsporting conduct in walking off the pitch during the ISL playoff match against Bengaluru FC.
- Head coach Ivan Vukomanovic has been suspended for 10 matches for “bringing the game into disrepute” with the walkout.
- The club has also been directed to issue a public apology for abandoning the match, and if they fail to comply, the total fine will increase to Rs. 6 crores.
- The ban on Vukomanovic means that he will not be allowed in the team dressing room or team bench in AIFF-held tournaments, regardless of the team he is contracted with.
- The committee has condemned KBFC’s complete disregard for the rules and regulations of the game, which has caused reputational damage not only to the sport, the referee and the club but also to the AIFF.
- There are no mitigating circumstances to justify any leniency towards KBFC or Vukomanovic’s actions, according to the committee.
- The reason for imposing an Rs. 4 crore fine instead of the maximum fine of Rs. 6 crores and not excluding the team from participating in the next scheduled tournament is to provide them with an opportunity to show remorse and take remedial action, including issuing a public apology for their conduct to all stakeholders of the game of football in India.
- Vukomanovic has been asked to issue a public apology for his misconduct, failing which the fine will be increased to Rs. 10 lahks.
- The committee has noted that the abandonment of a game is one of the rarest occurrences in global sporting history, especially in football.
- Both the team and Vukomanovic have the right to file an appeal against the order, but they must comply within one week.
The penalty imposed by the AIFF’s disciplinary committee is a stern reminder to all clubs and their staff that unsporting conduct will not be tolerated. It also highlights the need for football authorities to take swift and strong action against those who violate the rules and regulations of the game, to ensure the integrity and credibility of the sport.