The AFC has announced that the matches of the AFC Cup, to be held in the Maldives will be postponed till further notice, in wake of the rise in number of Covid-19 cases in the island nation. While Bengaluru FC has already reached the Maldives, ATK-Mohun Bagan was set to take the flight anytime soon.
Mohun Bagan were set to leave for the Maldives soon for their group stage matches in the 2021 AFC Cup after the entire team had undergone Covid-19 tests last weekend. However, two players – Prabir Das and Sheikh Sahil tested positive for the virus, with the management immediately leaving the duo out of their travel plans.
On the other hand, Bengaluru FC had already started their practice sessions in Male, Maldives, ahead of their playoff against Eagles FC on May 11. However, none of the ISL outfits will be in action soon as the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) announced that the AFC Cup Group D matches, to be held in the Maldives will be postponed till further notice, in wake of the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the island nation.
In fact, the Maldives government had already requested to postpone the matches in their country, which was not approved by the AFC initially. However, the apex body had to take a U-turn after the situation got worse, with them already requesting the visiting teams in the Maldives to arrange for return tickets. Group D comprises of ATK-Mohun Bagan (India), Maziya FC (Maldives), Basundhara Kings (Bangladesh) and winners of Bengaluru FC (India) vs Eagles FC (Maldives).
“Participating clubs who have travelled to 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,” read a statement from the AFC.
“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,” added the statement.