Kerala Blasters walked off the pitch during their playoff tie against Bengaluru FC, after Sunil Chhetri’s controversial free-kick goal. After walking off the pitch due to the referee’s decision, the club proceeded to ask for a replay of their tie from the AIFF.
However, their request has been turned down. And in addition, the Blasters have been issued a charge notice for the violation of Art 58 of the disciplinary code. They will be fined at least Rs 6 lakh, and could also face a ban from current or future competitions alongside the fee.
Kerala Blasters’ appeal for ISL playoff replay rejected
The referee for the game, Crystal John, was present for the hearing based on the matter. And he re-stated that his decision made on the pitch was the correct one.
Representatives from both Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters were present for the meeting. Based on findings by TOI, the Blasters were asked to explain their stance through a clearly written rule. However, they could not do so.
If the referee wants the attacking team to play to the whistle to ensure the defending players are ten yards from the free-kick, they must inform the attackers that they should wait for the whistle.
Since Crystal John did not ask Chhetri to do so, he was correct by the rules to allow play to go on. However, he did ask Adrian Luna to step back before the kick was taken, sparking controversy in the decision.
The AIFF has presented their decision following a thorough hearing, and Kerala Blasters have until March 12 to respond.