Maldives’ sports minister alleges breach of COVID-19 protocols by Bengaluru FC

The Bengaluru FC team | File  

Bengaluru FC’s AFC Cup play-off match against Eagles FC on May 11 is in doubt after Maldives’ sports minister asked the Indian Super League side to leave the host country alleging breach of COVID-19 protocols.

The exact nature of the alleged breach by Bengaluru FC, which is captained by India skipper Sunil Chhetri, is not clear but sports minister Ahmed Mahloof termed it as “unacceptable behaviour”. Bengaluru FC had reached Maldives on Friday.

“Unacceptable behavior from @bengalurufc breaching the strict guidelines from HPA (Health Protection Agency) & @theafcdotcom. The club should leave (Flag of Maldives) immediately as we can't entertain this act,” he tweeted on his official handle.

“We have informed FAM that we cannot hold the match, and asked them to make arrangements for @bengalurufc's departure. We will be in further correspondence with AFC through @MaldivesFA to postpone the group stage,” he said on Twitter.

Maldives is hosting the play-off match and all the Group D matches as the AFC wanted single venues in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Mahloof’s tweet also meant that all the Group D matches may be in jeopardy. ATK Mohun Bagan are to play the winner of BFC and Eagles on May 14 in their opening match.

“We honoured the commitment we gave a few months back even with the surge in cases & pressure from the public,” Mr. Mahloof said in another tweet.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 8:14:50 PM |

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