Sunday was not a good day for Indian football, while Bangalore FC was asked to leave Male in violation of the Covid-19 protocol ahead of their AFC Cup playoff match against the Eagles FC. Bengaluru FC’s match with Eagles FC on 11 May is in a tense situation as Maldives Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof has accused the Bangalore players of ‘violation of the Covid-19 protocol’.
He has written to the AFC asking Bengaluru FC’s team to leave the country ahead of their match against Eagles FC. Although the kind of protocol broke by Bangalore FC, captained by Sunil Chhetri, was not disclosed, but Sports Minister Mahaloof called it unacceptable.
The club should leave 🇲🇻 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. https://t.co/RXxma0hyjm
— Ahmed Mahloof (@AhmedMahloof) May 8, 2021
Team owner Partha Jindal has promised that action will be taken against the guilty players and support staff. There are reports that three non-Indian players/staff of the team were seen walking in the streets of Male in violation of the Quarantine Protocol. Bangalore players were given special permission. He was allowed to be confined to his hotel in addition to training and traveling to matches.
Group D was postponed after two ATK Mohun Bagan players Prabir Das and SK Sahil were infected. The matches of this group were to be held in the Maldives from 14 May to 21 May.
No reason has been given by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to postpone the match, but it is believed to have been done due to the increased infection of the coronavirus in many countries. The participating teams were told not to return home or to go to the Maldives for the matches.
— #AFCCup2021 (@AFCCup) May 9, 2021
According to the statement issued by the AFC, “The teams participating in this tournament have reached the Maldives will have to make arrangements to return to their homes following the Covid-19 Health and Travel Protocol implemented by the country. The AFC is in touch with the participating clubs and officials to cancel the trip which has not yet reached Maldives.”
In Group D, apart from ATK Mohun Bagan, Basundhara Kings of Bangladesh and Majia Sports and Recreation Club of Maldives. The fourth team of the group will be decided by the match between Bengaluru FC and Maldives’ Eagles Club.
ATK Mohun Bagan was to face the winner of the Bengaluru-Eagles match on 14 May in their opening match. The AFC handed over the rights to host the Maldives in March with the aim of organizing all Group D matches at one venue due to the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘AFC Cup (South) Group stage matches are postponed until the next order. More information will be given in the coming times .’- Asian Football Confederation