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Kerala Blasters take their walkout case to CAS

Kerala Blasters have appealed their case to CAS without paying their fine to AIFF. Check out in this article what CAS can do and its consequences.

Last updated: 24.06.2023
Kerala Blasters take their walkout case to CAS

Adding to the saga of their walkout case, Kerala Blasters have now knocked on the doors of the Court of Arbitration for Sport or CAS to appeal about the punishment imposed by AIFF for the incident that happened back in March. The Tuskers have also not paid the fine of 4 crore, a decision taken by the disciplinary committee for abandoning the game, within the stipulated two weeks.    

CAS is the body that resolves sporting disputes around the world with its headquarters based in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2020, it overturned Premier League side Manchester City’s two-year European competition ban made by UEFA in a case well-known by the football fraternity. However, Blasters have not yet filed the details of their appeal but it is most likely either to reduce or pay no amount of fine for their actions. They have done so before on both committees.

AIFF Punishment

AIFF disciplinary committee fined Kerala Blasters ₹ 4 crores for walking away midway from a match and bringing a match into a dispute which to the board undermined the values of fair play, respect and integrity. Their coach Ivan Vukomanovic was also fined ₹5 lahks with a 10-game touchline ban for instigating the walkout decision. The incident took place at Sree Kanteerava stadium after Sunil Chhetri scored a free-kick goal in extra time for Bengaluru FC in an ISL playoff battle against the Blasters which they disputed was unfairly taken.

The Tuskers appealed both the punishments but the decision was upheld by the disciplinary committee early this month. AIFF also gave a two-week time for the club and their manager to pay the fine. The appeal committee agreed with the ‘appropriate penalty’ given although was not in line with the amount increasing to ₹ 6 crores if a public apology for their action was not made. There are no such provisions in the Code to require it. The maximum penalty could only be imposed for other serious violations of the Code. However, they see no reason to increase or decrease the ₹ 4 crore fine slapped on the Blasters.

What can CAS do?

The details of the appeal from Kerala Blasters are yet to be revealed but if it is to overturn the punishments, CAS will have a say on it. Earlier, the club submitted that they should not be given such punishments due to the rules of the board preventing the management to contact the team to reverse the decision. CAS will look into the legitimacy of the penalties handed by AIFF whether it fits into the rules or Blasters have a strong argument in their case. However, the definitive actions made by the club in abandoning a game for a fair goal with the fine reflecting it may not be enough to convince CAS to overturn the charges.  


Kerala Blasters could land themselves in deep waters if CAS decide to stick with AIFF decisions. It is left to see what steps the domestic board makes if the fines are not paid in the prescribed period or whether additional sanctions are required if the ruling goes against the club. FSDL might also make a decision of their own if they feel the episodes of the walkout case have damaged the reputation of their product, the ISL or breached any of their rules. However, these are all speculations at the moment.

The more disappointing outcome of the fiasco was Kerala Blasters shutting down their Women’s team stating financial vulnerabilities due to the charges on them. The move drove widespread criticisms both domestically and internationally. Fans, national team players and global stars spoke against it with top publications like Guardian reporting the frown decision taken by the club management.                   

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