AFC Cup matches in the Maldives postponed after Bengaluru FC players breach COVID-19 protocols

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 09, 2021, 04:38 PM(IST)

AFC Cup matches in Maldives postponed after Bengaluru FC players breach COVID-19 protocols Photograph:( AFP )

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The Asian Football Confederation on Sunday cancelled its AFC Cup matches in the Maldives after a breach of COVID-19 protocols by three Bengaluru FC players in the capital Male. The country’s sports minister had termed it “unacceptable behavior" while also calling for the BFC team to immediately leave the country.

The Asian Football Confederation on Sunday cancelled its AFC Cup matches in the Maldives after a breach of COVID-19 protocols by three Bengaluru FC players in the capital Male. The country’s sports minister had termed it “unacceptable behavior" while also calling for the BFC team to immediately leave the country.

The AFC Cup (South) Group D matches, scheduled from May 14 to May 21 have been indefinitely postponed.

Bengaluru FC landed in Male on Saturday ahead of their playoff match with Maldives’ Eagles FC, which was to be played on Tuesday. The winner of the match would have been the last entrant in Group D, consisting of teams like ATK Mohun Bagan, Maziya FC and Basundhara Kings.

According to a report in PTI, local media reported that BFC players were spotted roaming on the streets of Male, which was not permitted due to the COVID-19 surge. Players were handed special permission to be in the Maldives despite the ban on tourists with a condition that the members had to be confined to their hotel at all times except for training and matches.

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After the development was reported, Ahmed Mahloof, Maldives’ Minister of Youth, Sports & Community Empowerment had tweeted that it was "unacceptable behaviour".

In response, BFC owner Parth Jindal tweeted an apology for the "inexcusable behaviour" of three of his "foreign players/staff."

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BFC are expected to face disciplinary action from the AFC.

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Meanwhile, ATK Mohun Bagan, who would have played their group stage match on May 14, have also reportedly asked for a postponement after Prabir Das and SK Sahil tested positive for the dreaded virus ahead of their flight to Male on Monday.

 

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