Kerala Blasters 'temporarily pause' women's football team's activities

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New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters on Tuesday announced a 'temporary pause' of their women's football team's activities owing to the financial sanctions levied on the club by All India Football Federation (AIFF) recently.

The AIFF on Friday rejected Kerala Blasters FC's appeal against the Rs 4 crore fine imposed on them for walking off during their ISL playoff match against Bengaluru on March 3. The federation also rejected Blasters coach Ivan Vukomanovic's appeal against the fine of Rs 5 lakh and a 10-game ban imposed on him.

Days after AIFF's decision, Kerala Blasters issued a statement about pausing their women's team's operations.

"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."

"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," the statement from the club read.

"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," it added.

Blasters also said that they could not "continue our women's team activities until such time that there is complete clarity on the matter.

"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 said.

The club further mentioned that this was a "temporary setback", and that the women's team would be reinstated "upon closure of this matter in its entirety."

"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," the statement mentioned.

"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," it added.

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