Monday, March 6, 2023

Kerala Blasters request a rematch with Bengaluru FC, referee Crystal is suspended

Kerala Blasters seek replay with Bengaluru FC, ban on referee Crystal John

 PANAJI: A meeting of the disciplinary committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is likely to be called to quickly decide on a protest filed by Kerala Blasters FC for a replay of their tense ISL knockout match against Bengaluru FC. An alleged unfair refereeing decision made by Crystal John allowed Sunil Chhetri to score a controversial goal and give Bengaluru the lead, and the critics left in protest.

Coach Ivan Vukomanovic marched onto the field and waved at his players to leave the field with 26 minutes remaining. Despite requests from match commissioner Amit Dharap and a senior ISL official, the players did not return to the field after following their coach to the dressing room.

Sources say that the Blasters have officially complained to the AIFF about how referee Crystal John let Chhetri take the quick free kick less than a minute after the foul.

A source familiar with the situation told TOI on Sunday that "the official complaint makes it clear that the referee asked (KBFC captain) Adrian Luna to move away from the ball, so he cannot be allowing a quick free-kick (for the opponents)."

When a player is told to move away, the referee is instructing them to erect a wall. The free kick must be asked to play for the whistle by the referee after the players have been instructed to move away. The referee's decision to uphold the goal is absurd."

Luna has instructed the referee to move away and informed the coach and players that the spray was used to mark the location of the ball for a free kick.

Through Thick and Thin: "Yellow Army, thank you for your support!" #KBFC #KeralaBlasters — Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) 1677939067000 The Blasters have now requested a replay of the match, which was deemed a forfeit with a score of 3-0, as well as a suspension for the referee, whose decision has enraged the club's supporters.

AIFF will need to make a decision regarding the protest within the next 24 hours due to the fact that the first leg semifinal between Bengaluru and Mumbai City is scheduled for Tuesday. After the first-ever walkout in Indian football at the Sree Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru, neither the AIFF nor the ISL has released a statement.

Vukomanovic has received full support from Blasters management and fans ever since the walkout. After the coach and his players arrived at their home base in Kochi on Saturday, the remarkable support and loyalty to the team came to the fore.

Chants of "We are with you" greeted the team at Cochin International Airport in Nedumbassery.

In his first season at the club, Vukomanovic led the Blasters to the final, where they lost on penalties to Hyderabad FC.

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