Indian Football

Kerala Blasters announce “temporary pause” of Women’s Team due to ISL financial sanctions

Jayjeet RoyguptaJayjeet Roygupta

June 6 2023
Kerala Blasters
(Courtesy : TIME News)

The club are still awaiting further sanctions from FSDL for the walkout, and promise a restart.

In a recent press release, Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters FC announced with a heavy heart that their Women’s Team will be “temporarily paused.” The decision comes as a result of financial sanctions imposed on the club by the football federation, forcing them to prioritise immediate objectives and ensure long-term financial stability.

The club expressed their disappointment at the impact this decision is likely to have on various functions. Amidst a successful first season for the women’s team, which saw tremendous results, Kerala Blasters FC had planned increased investments for the team this year. These investments were set to include a foreign pre-season tour alongside the Men’s Team, player exchanges, and exposure tours, among other initiatives.

A challenge that required a sacrifice

However, the financial sanctions have presented an unfortunate challenge for the club. The decision to pause the women’s team activities was made after “Careful consideration and evaluation of the current circumstances.” Moreover, Kerala Blasters FC are “still awaiting further sanctions from the league body,” which could further exacerbate the financial impact on the club.

In a terrible turn of events, Kerala Blasters FC’s recently formed senior women’s squad has been suspended, shattering the club’s lofty goals for the team’s future. On August 14, 2022, the club issued an encouraging news about the beginning of their women’s squad.

To earn a spot in the Indian Women’s League (IWL), the team actively competed in the Kerala Women’s League, which was run by the Kerala Football Association (KFA). Kerala Blasters FC Women also had the goal of representing the nation in the AFC club competitions during the following two to three years.

Plans to restart the women’s team

The club’s vision was to contribute to the national squad by nurturing local players which now seems like a merely incomplete dream for the side from Kerala. With an impressive pool of local talent alongside Indian international players, the establishment of the women’s team marked a significant milestone in the growth and development of women’s football in the state.

The club, in their statement, also emphasised that it is important to understand that “this break is just temporary,” and the club plans to “Restart the Women’s Team upon closure of this matter in its entirety.” The club apologized profusely for the incident and thanked the women’s squad members for their hard work, fortitude, and skill. They expressed gratitude for the team’s remarkable efforts and gave the players assurances of personal support throughout this break.

Hopes of over-turning this setback

The club also recognized the disappointment and frustration felt by their loyal supporters. They appreciated the unwavering support shown for the women’s team and reassured fans that Kerala Blasters FC would be back. They firmly believed in brighter prospects for the women’s team in the future, emphasizing their “Commitment to fostering equality, inclusivity, and opportunities for all athletes.”

Despite the unfortunate pause, the Kerala Blasters FC’s commitment to women’s football remains strong. The club have made it clear that they have been committed to helping women’s football in the area thrive, and that they are hopeful that the short-term setback will be overcome, allowing them to continue their journey and eventually accomplish the ambitious goals they had set for themselves. 

In conclusion, Kerala Blasters FC’s temporary pause of their Women’s Team is a result of the financial sanctions imposed by the football federation due to the ISL walkout in the eliminator against Bengaluru FC. While the decision is disheartening, the club remains hopeful for the future and is dedicated to supporting their women’s team members individually. They also expressed gratitude to their loyal supporters and reassured them that Kerala Blasters FC would return stronger, continuing their commitment to equality and inclusivity in sports.

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