India captain Ashalata slams Kerala Blasters ‘disgusting’ move to ‘temporary pause women’s team’ after men’s ISL fines
The move was taken after the club was imposed a hefty fine of ₹4 crore by AIFF for their conduct during an ISL play-off encounter against Bengaluru FC.
The Kerala Blasters management drew immense criticism on social media after they released an statement earlier on Tuesday stating that the club would “temporary pause" the women’s team. The move was taken after the club was imposed a hefty fine of ₹4 crore by AIFF for their conduct during an ISL play-off encounter against Bengaluru FC.
“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,” read the statement.
The ISL match, which took place in March, saw a huge controversy after Kerala Blasters players walked off the pitch midway during the contest. The incident took place after both the sides failed to break the deadlock in the regulation 90 minutes, following which the match had moved into extra time. Sunil Chhetri then found the back of the net from a setpiece in the 97th minute, however, Kerala players protested that the Bengaluru FC forward took the freekick even before the whistle was blown. The referee didn't disallow the goal and dejected Kerala players walked off the field on direction of their manager Ivan Vukomanovic.
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The club was then imposed a hefty fine for their conduct, apart from the 10-match ban along with a fine of ₹5 lakh on the manager. Kerala appealed to reduce the sanctions last month but no mercy was shown by the Indian football governing body.
Meanwhile, Indian women's football team goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan, captain Ashalata Devi, and forward Anju Tamang condemned the decision to stop the operation of the women's team.
“So the men’s team gets a fine for what they did and the money comes from the women’s team budget by shutting it down? Great, that’s how women’s football will develop in India. Horrible!” tweeted Chauhan.
Ashalata Devi, who plays for Gokulam Kerala FC, called it "disgusting", while Anju, who represents Odisha FC, expressed empathy. Both the footballers, who also represent the national team, expressed their views on Instagram.
- Kerala Blasters