During the ISL playoff match between Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters, the Blasters boycotted the game during the extra time of the match. It all erupted after Bengaluru FC, the home side took the lead from a free-kick goal.
After the match ended goalless in 90 minutes, it went to extra time. Sunil Chhetri scored the goal and gave Bengaluru the lead in the 97th minute from a free-kick. And after that, the Blasters team just walked out off the pitch, leaving the Bengaluru side baffled. They boycotted the match and later forfeited as Bengaluru were awarded the win.
The Kerala Blasters official Twitter handle then made a tweet writing, “Still trying to figure out when the referee whistled or marked the distance of the wall.”
— Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) March 3, 2023
ISL Controversy: What happened between Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC?
The Kerala Blasters team walked away in protest of the referee’s decision that allowed Sunil Chhetri’s goal. During the free-kick, the Manjappada were still setting their wall, when Chhetri suddenly took the shot and scored beyond the keeper, who was far off from his line.
The Kerala players surrounded the referee in protest but the official stuck to his decision and allowed the goal. As a consequence, the Kerala manager Ivan Vukomanovic called his players to come off the pitch and they left the pitch after that.
𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐠𝐨𝐚𝐥 𝐨𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐭?#KeralaBlasters exit from the knockout game may be controversial, but their lack of sportsmanship & lack of resilience is undeniable.#BFCKBFC #HeroISL pic.twitter.com/vIPC2qIuMI
— Aritra Parab (@AritraParab) March 3, 2023
Bengaluru awarded the win:
Bengaluru FC players were still at the stadium even after the Kerala players left the pitch. The match commissioner came to the ground and after consultation with the referees, Bengaluru FC were awarded as winners after the completion of 120 minutes.
What happens next:
Bengaluru FC are now through to the ISL semi-final and will be taking on Mumbai FC. Kerala’s season ends here amid controversial circumstances.