Kerala Blasters Controversy: Infamous Walk Outs In Sports

Instances when teams or players allowed a situation to get to them, and did the unthinkable.

Blasters had walked off the pitch and forfeited their match vs Bengaluru.

Indian sport has seen many controversies over the years and the latest addition to the list is from the Indian Super League's Kerala Blasters. The management and the players of the team decided to walk off the pitch and forfeit their all-important ISL play-off against Bengaluru FC, protesting against a contentious Sunil Chhetri strike. After a goalless stalemate during regulation time at the Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru FC took a 97th minute lead when the talismanic Indian captain converted a free-kick. The Blasters, however, argued that their players were still taking their positions. (More Football News)

The goal stood despite a protest from the Blasters' bench. This led to the ISL’s first walk-out, as the Blasters’ Serbian coach Ivan Vukomanovic called back his players.

We look into other infamous walkouts from sports history that made news for the wrong reasons:

Nick Kygrios 

In 2017, Kyrgios called it quits after losing the first set to Steve Johnson of the US in the Shanghai Masters. Kygrios has always been a controversial figure on and off the court and this incident was another one of his antics. He attributed it to health problems. “I’ve been battling a stomach bug for the past 24 hours and I tried to be ready but I was really struggling on the court today which I think was pretty evident from the first point,” Kyrgios said. However, the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) punished the Australian for "unsportsmanlike conduct", as he had failed to complete a medical visit to explain his actions.

Sunil Gavaskar 

During the 1981 India tour of Australia, in the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, controversy erupted when a Dennis Lillee in-cutter caught Gavaskar in front and umpire Rex Whitehead, standing in just his third Test, raised his finger. However, Gavaskar felt that the ball had got his bat on the way to the pad. He was further incensed when the Aussies sledged him. That broke the camel’s back and Gavaskar walked off the pitch, taking non-striker Chetan Chauhan along with him. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and Chauhan returned to the crease. India went on to score a historic win by 59 runs. Decades later, Gavaskar said it was the Australian players' "get lost" call, and not so much the leg-before verdict, that prompted him to storm off the ground with his opening partner.

Cristiano Ronaldo 

The Portuguese superstar has a plethora of goals and championship medals in his locker, along with a few dark moments. One such moment came in October 2022. The then-Manchester United star, after refusing to go on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur, decided to exit the ground before the final whistle was blown. Consequences followed as Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped from the match day squad that travelled to Chelsea the following weekend.

Argentina Football Team 

During the 1960 Olympic Games in Italy, controversy erupted during the gold medal match between Argentina and Italy. The La Albiceleste decided to walk off just six minutes in to the game, as the referee disallowed an Argentina goal. Players and coaches argued with the referee and eventually left the field. The match was awarded to Italy by default. Argentina were banned from international competition for two years.