Kerala Blasters FC took a big decision to temporarily halt their women's team operation from Tuesday, June 6 after imposed fine by AIFF due to the men's team walk-off from the ISL game against Bengaluru FC. However, the decision to shut down the women's team has attracted heavy criticism from the football fraternity, including star international players Ashalata Devi and Aditi Chauhan.
To punish the women's team for a fine received due to men's team action has clearly angered Indian football fans. Kerala Blasters are among one of the most popular teams in Indian football and such a controversial decision from the club shocked everyone on Tuesday.
Indian women's team captain Ashalata Devi post an Instagram story and let out her frustration against Kerala Blasters' decision. Ashalata wrote, "Why? Always us?"
Aditi Chauhan, the star goalkeeper, replied to Kerala Blasters' Tweet and slammed the club for their decision to shut down the women's team. She termed the club's decision as 'horrible' and suggested that it is a big blow to women's football development in India.
"So the men’s team gets a fine for what they did and the money comes from the women’s team budget by shutting it down? Great, that’s how women’s football will develop in India. Horrible!" Aditi Chauhan wrote in her Twitter post.
Kerala Blasters released a statement regarding their decision to temporarily pause their women's team. Notably, KBFC introduced their women's team only a less than year ago. However, the club also clarified that the pause is only temporary and they will reinstate the women's team upon solving the matter with AIFF.
"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," Kerala Blasters said in a statement.
"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.
"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."