Ivan Vukomanovic, the head coach of Kerala Blasters, led his side in a walk-off on March 3. To protest what they believed to be however an illegitimate free-kick taken by Bengaluru FC. That was in the Indian Super League 2023 semifinal.
On June 2, however the All India Football Federation (AIFF) dismissed KBFC’s appeal against the punishment of 4 lakh. They were given for misbehaviour. And moreover for quitting an ISL playoff game against Bengaluru FC after Sunil Chettri scored a disputed goal.
One of the season’s most notable incidents lost the Blasters the game. Further Rs 4 lakh in fines, and a 10-match suspension for the Serbian head coach of the KBFC. After offering the required “apology” (and avoiding a bigger punishment), there was also considerable animosity from the supporters.
However, a “temporary pause” of the activities of Kerala Blasters’ women’s football team was declared on June 6. It was in response to the punishment suffered by the men’s squad.
Although the club has been penalised, the men’s team that walked out will, as far as is known. Escape with nothing, and the coach and players are still employed. Less than a year after it was established, the women’s squad has been dismantled.
“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,” the KBFC said in a statement.
Kerala Blasters have faced a lot of criticism
Different groups of football fans, including those outside of India, strongly criticised the KBFC management’s action and labelled it misogynistic.
The Manjappada (Yellow Army) supporters of Blaster, often regarded as the largest in India. They tweeted their disapproval over the club’s choice.
Hedvig Lindahl, a legendary custodian from Sweden, also objected to the KBFC’s choice.
Kevin Hatchard, an English commentator, also retweeted the following message:
Aditi Chauhan is the custodian for the Indian national women’s team. She questioned the KBFC’s choice. Saying, “So the men’s team receives a fine for what they did and the money comes from the women’s team budget by shutting it down? That’s great news for India’s women’s football. Horrible!,”
Moreover, Malavika is the team’s top scorer and one of the Kerala Blasters women’s biggest personalities. She did not comment anything on the matter.
Her silence most likely screamed loud and clear about her displeasure.
On social media, some other individuals also attacked the Blaster’s management choices.
KBFC women are on “temporary pause”
The KBFC administration said that the club has intentions to enhance its spending following a first season that was extremely encouraging. Moreover saw the women’s squad achieve outstanding results.
However, these expenditures included the women’s team’s first-ever international preseason trip, player exchanges, exposure tours, and much more.
“However, the financial sanctions have presented us with an unfortunate challenge. As a club, we must prioritise the more immediate objectives and long-term financial stability,” the KBFC said., according to the KBFC.
The KBFC said, “The decision to pause their activities was made after careful consideration and evaluation of the current circumstances. Not to mention, the club is still awaiting further sanctions from the league body as well that are only likely to augment the financial impact on the club.”
Moreover, the KCFC continued, “It is important to highlight that this pause is temporary. We will reinstate our women’s team upon closure of this matter in its entirety.”
Moreover, the fans would like for this prospective future, which is now on indefinite hold, to be settled quickly.
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