The Disciplinary Committee of the All India Football Federation, on Friday, imposed a fine of Rs. 4 crores on Kerala Blasters for walking off the pitch and thereby forfeiting its Indian Super League playoff match against Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on March 3.
The AIFF Disciplinary Committee, after hearing all parties involved in the tie and considering their protests and submissions, said that Kerala Blasters is “also directed to issue a ‘public apology’ for this unsporting conduct of abandoning the match, failing which the fine will rise to Rs. 6 crores.
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 setpiece before its players could set itself in defensive positions.
Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan 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).”
The Committee has directed both KBFC and Vukomanovic to comply with this order within one week. However, both parties have the right to file an appeal against the order.
The Committee 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 the match of East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan in 2012.
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