Kerala Blasters’ protest over Sunil Chhetri’s free-kick gets rejected by the AIFF Disciplinary Committee

In a massive setback for Kerala Blasters, AIFF disciplinary committee has issued the order dismissing the protest of Kerala Blasters FC

AIFF Disciplinary Committee, headed by Vaibhav Gaggar, rejected Kerala Blasters’ protest against the Bengaluru FC goal by Sunil Chhetri. Due to the disputed goal, the Blasters sought two relief points, a match replay and action against the referee Crystal John. The Blasters briefly described the events in their protest before stating their objections.

“To the Club, the sequence mentioned above of events represents a clear contradiction in the actions of Mr John. As evident in the video below, Mr John directs Mr Luna to move further away from the ball and Mr Chhetri. Suppose the referee is allowing a quick free-kick. Why is he simultaneously directing the defender to move away, preventing the defender from blocking such a quick free-kick? If the referee has instructed the opponent to step back from the ball, it indicates to the defending team that they are allowed to set up a wall.”

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The AIFF rejected this appeal based on Chief Referee Officer Trevor Kettle’s report as well as the IFAB Laws of the Game and the League Rules and Code, by saying, “After considering the Protest and going through the Laws of the Game as well as the reports by the officials, the Committee said that it is of the view that the “Protest is not maintainable in law, as the conjoint comprehensive and holistic reading of the League Rules and the Code provides that no protest can be entertained against a Referee’s decisions since the said decisions are final and binding.”

“The facts of the present case indicate that the incident does not fall within the exception carved out in Article 70.5 of the Code. As a result, the present protest letter/report/petition gets dismissed.”