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AIFF charges Ivan Vukomanovic for walkout in ISL knockouts

Published at :March 16, 2023 at 4:16 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)


The tactician made the news for all the wrong reasons after asking his team to leave the game.

One of the major highlights from the 2022-23 season of the Indian Super League will be Kerala Blasters FC walking off the field in their knockout fixture against Bengaluru FC on 3 March 2023. Sunil Chhetri’s controversial goal in extra time, after referee Crystal John gave a go for a quick free kick, led to Ivan Vukomanovic asking his players to leave the field in an impulsive move.

Expectedly, despite their concerns about the nature of the refereeing, Kerala Blasters FC and their head coach received a lot of flak for their unsportsmanlike behaviour. As a result, the governing body for football in India, the All India Football Federation (AIFF), has charged the tactician for “bringing the game into disrepute”.

Potential troubles

This is a separate charge, particularly against Ivan Vukomanovic for taking his players off the field. Apart from the KBFC fanbase that stands by the players and the head coach, the general feeling around the incident was that it brought disrepute to the competition. Walking off during an ISL playoff knockout fixture was something few people saw coming.

Ivan Vukomanovic usually handles himself well during press conferences or on the sidelines during a game. Seeing the tactician enter the field and haphazardly ask the players to empty it was shocking to witness for the rest of the country and the world.

Therefore, the AIFF has fair grounds to charge him with bringing disrepute to the game on a huge stage. It remains to be seen what action the governing body takes against the club as a punishment for walking off the pitch during the contest against Bengaluru FC.

Earlier, the Yellow Army went on to ask for a rematch and a subsequent ban for referee Crystal John. However, the AIFF disciplinary released the following statement in response.

It said, “After considering the Protest and going through the Laws of the Game as well as the reports by the officials, the Committee said that it is of the view that the "Protest is not maintainable in law, as the conjoint comprehensive and holistic reading of the League Rules and the Code clearly provides that no protest can be entertained against a Referee's decisions since the said decisions are final and binding."