AFC CUP: Group D matches in Male postponed indefinitely

The Asian Football Confederation confirmed that the group D matches, which were going to be held in Male, Maldives, have been postponed due to a Covid-19 protocol breach by Bengaluru FC.

The board has asked the participating teams to either return home or not to proceed to the Maldives for the matches. The group D also includes Indian Super League side ATK Mohan Bagan, whose games were scheduled from May 14 to 21. The other two teams in Group D are Bashundhara Kings from Bangladesh and Maziya Sports & Recreation of Maldives.

Participating clubs who have travelled to the Maldives will be required to arrange for their return home while adhering to the COVID-19 health and travel protocols put in place by the country. At the same time, the AFC is in contact with all other Participating clubs and officials who have not entered the Maldives to cancel their travel arrangements”, the AFC said in a statement.

At first, the decision was taken by the Football Association of Maldives (FAM) earlier in the day when they requested to cancel the game between India’s Bengaluru FC and Maldives’ Club Eagles. Bengaluru was expected to face Eagles on May 11, after which the group D group stage matches were scheduled from May 14.

Maldives Sports Minister Mr Ahmed Mahloof took his concerns to Twitter and said, “Unacceptable behaviour from @bengalurufc breaching the strict guidelines from HPA & @theafcdotcom. The club should leave (Maldives) immediately as we can’t entertain this act. We honoured the commitment we gave a few months back even with the surge in cases & pressure from the public.”

“It is important that we already have imposed certain restrictions on travellers from India, yet we gave BFC a special permit to arrive in the Maldives for the competition. So, the fact that some Bengaluru FC players still violated guidelines and roamed on the streets surprises me,” Mahloof added.


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Also Read: Try everything but be great at something – Alton Vaz, Sporting Club De Goa Captain

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