The AIFF has suspended Coach Ivan, and the Kerala Blasters have been fined and requested to offer a public apology

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After hearing all parties engaged in the tie and considering their appeals and submissions. The AIFF Disciplinary Committee imposed a 10-match ban on coach Ivan Vukomanovi. Furthermore a 4 Cr. punishment on the club is also imposed.

On Friday, March 31, 2023, the All India Football Federation’s Disciplinary Committee, was chaired by Mr. Vaibhav Gaggar. Moreover, he imposed a fine of Rs Four crores (INR 4,00,00,000/-) on Kerala Blasters FC for walking off the pitch. Moreover, forfeiting their Hero Indian Super League playoff match against Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. That match was held on March 3, 2023.

The AIFF Disciplinary Committee stated that the Kerala Blasters are “also directed to issue a ‘Public Apology’ for this unsporting conduct of abandoning the match. And failing which the total Fine to be imposed on the Defendant team will be increased to Rs. 6,00,00,000/- (Rupees Six crores).” After hearing all parties involved in the match and considering their protests and submission they have done it.

Coach Vukomanovic and Kerala Blasters got a fine

Kerala Blasters’ reaction after a contentious free-kick goal by Bengaluru FC. Moreover, the club lodged a complaint with the AIFF. It’s about referee Crystal John’s decision to allow striker Sunil Chhetri to take the free-kick that resulted in the goal.

Mr. Ivan Vukomanovic is the head coach of Kerala Blasters. He was accused of abandonment and bringing the game into disrepute and apparently instigated the team to cancel the match. However he has been 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 Five lakh (Rupees 5,00,000/-) under Article 9.1.2 (of the AIFF disciplinary code).”

The Disciplinary Committee went on to say, “This would necessarily mean that the Head Coach shall not be permitted to be a part of the team dressing room and/or the team bench as per Article 9.1.6. the Head Coach is also directed to issue a ‘Public Apology’ for his misconduct, failing which the total fine to be imposed on the Head Coach will be increased to Rs. 10,00,000/- (Rupees Ten Lakh) along with the aforementioned ban/ suspension for 10 matches and from being a part of the team dressing room and team bench, irrespective of the team he is contracted with.”

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The Committee has given Kerala Blasters and Mr Ivan one week to comply with this ruling. The Kerala Blasters and their Head Coach have the option to submit an appeal against the Order.

The Committee further said 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 the match of East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan on 09.12.2012.

“ In that match, Mohun Bagan was a goal down against bitter rivals East Bengal in Kolkata. That’s when a stone hurled from one of the stands hit midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi. The match resumed after a 13-minute stoppage towards the end of the first half. But Mohun Bagan refused to take the field after the interval. It’s because the midfielder Nabi was treated for a fractured jaw. Moreover, Mohun Bagan players still felt insecure and in danger. Despite having such a probable cause of abandoning the match, Mohun Bagan were stripped of all the 12 points they had earned so far in the league and had been fined Rs 2,00,00,000/- (Rupees Two Crores),” the committee said.

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