The postponement of the AFC Cup group stage matches has come as a sigh of relief for ATK-Mohun Bagan with them set to play their first match on June 30. The matches were initially set to be staged in Male, Maldives from May 14 to 21, but it was postponed by the AFC for various reasons.
The Group D matches of the 2021 AFC Cup, which was set to feature Indian teams like ATK-Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC was supposed to be staged in the Maldives, in Male, from May 14 to 21. However, with the visiting members of the Bengaluru FC team flouting the COVID-19 rules after reaching the Maldives, the local government requested the team to go back.
Subsequently, the matches were postponed by the AFC, along with the backlash from the Maldives government who were reluctant to stage the matches in the Covid-19 situation in their country. However, the new dates for the matches have been announced by AFC, with Bengaluru FC set to kick-start the leg with their play-off against Eagles FC, on June 27.
Meanwhile, ATK-Mohun Bagan will play their first group stage match against the winners of the play-off, on June 30. The Mariners will be up against Maziya Sports and Recreation on July 3 and against Bashundhara Kings on July 6. The venues for the matches have not been announced, but as per reports, any of the participating teams interested in hosting the matches can bid for the same.
The latest developments come as a relief for ATK-Mohun Bagan as they would have missed on some of their major players like Roy Krishna and David Williams if the matches were held as per the scheduled dates. Even Prabir Das and Sheikh Sahil has tested positive for Covid-19 back then and were not supposed to travel with the team.