The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have cancelled all AFC Cup matches in Maldives after Bengaluru FC players reportedly flouted Covid-19 norms.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have cancelled all AFC Cup matches in Maldives after Bengaluru FC players reportedly flouted Covid-19 norms. The club were based in the capital city of Male, where the tournament’s Group D matches were to be held. However, reports suggest the matches are now postponed. BFC landed in Male on Saturday ahead of their playoff tie with Maldives’ Eagles FC on Tuesday (May 11). The winners were aiming ti be the last entrant in Group D. Currently the group consists of fellow ISL side ATK Mohun Bagan, Maziya FC from Maldives and Basundhara Kings from Bangladesh.
Now, however, it remains to be seen when the matches are held.
Local media reports claimed that Bengaluru FC players, upon arriving in the city, were seen in the streets of Male. That was something they were not allowed to do.
This is because they were given special permission to be in the country as Maldives had banned Indian tourists due to the deadly second wave India is facing.
Players were expected to remain in their hotels whenever not training or playing matches. However, TV news reports showed Erik Partaalu walking around the streets.
As a result, the club were taken to task by the country’s sports minister.
“Unacceptable behavior from @bengalurufc breaching the strict guidelines from HPA & @theafcdotcom. 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,” he said on Twitter.
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
As a result, BFC owner Parth Jindal apologised on Twitter. “On behalf of @bengalurufc I am extremely sorry for the inexcusable behavior of three of our foreign players/staff while in Male – the strictest action will be taken against these players/staff. We have let @AFCCup down and can only say that this will never happen again.”
Bengaluru FC could face disciplinary action from the AFC.