Kochi: In a massive announcement, Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters on Tuesday announced their decision to temporarily scrap their Women's team by citing recent financial sanctions imposed by the All India Football Federation.
The move came in the wake of AIFF rejecting the club's appeal against the Rs 4 crore fine imposed on them for misconduct and abandonment of their game against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League playoffs on March 3, 2023.
"The committee also rejected Ivan Vukomanovic's appeal against the fine of Rs 5 lakh and a 10-game ban imposed on him. In both cases, the Appeal Committee upheld the earlier decisions of the Disciplinary Committee," AIFF said in a statement.
AIFF stated in a statement that both Kerala Blasters and the coach are required to pay the respective fines within two weeks.
"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."
"After a very encouraging first season that saw our women’s team achieve tremendous results, this year the Club had plans for increased investments for our women’s team. These investments included a first-of-a-kind foreign pre-season tour accompanying our Men’s Team, player exchanges, exposure tours, and so much more. However, the financial sanctions have presented us with an unfortunate challenge. As a Club, we must prioritize the more immediate objectives and long-term financial stability."
"We deeply regret that we cannot continue our women’s team activities until such time that there is complete clarity on the matter. 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."
"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."
"To our incredible women’s team members, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude for the dedication, resilience, and talent you have displayed throughout your time with us. You have been an inspiration to us all, and we are committed to supporting you individually in any way we can during this pause."
"To our loyal supporters, we understand your disappointment, and we share your frustration. Your unwavering support for our women’s team has been phenomenal, and we assure you that we will be back," the club said in a statement.