AFC Cup 2021: Bengaluru FC players and staff return from Maldives- Indian Super League club Bengaluru FC returned to India on Monday evening from Maldives after the postponement of its AFC Cup playoff match against Eagles FC following a violation of COVID-19 protocols by three members of the visiting team.
The Indian Super League club boarded a flight from Male and landed in Bengaluru around 8.30pm local time, following which all the players and support staff went into a mandatory quarantine in line with the standard protocols.
AFC Cup 2021: Maldives’ Sports Minister accuses Bengaluru FC of breaching COVID-19 restrictions
The postponement came after the host country’s sports minister Ahmed Mahloof asked the ISL side to leave, citing breach of COVID-19 protocols. The match was to take place on Tuesday.
Mahloof termed the breach as “unacceptable”. Mahloof tweeted from his official handle saying, “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.”
This was after reports emerged that some of the club’s players were seen on a street at Male in violation of the quarantine rules.
“Bengaluru FC’s AFC Cup 2021 playoff stage clash against Eagles FC has been postponed until further notice, as confirmed by the Asian Football Confederation on Sunday. The club is making all arrangements to get all its players and staff home at the earliest,” BFC had said in a statement.
AFC Cup 2021: Bengaluru FC players and staff return from Maldives- Local media reported that BFC players, who had reached Maldives on Friday, were seen on the Male streets, which was not permitted as they were given special permission to be in the island nation despite the ban on tourists from India because of a COVID-19 surge here. The club later also issued an apology.
“Bengaluru FC would like to place on record an unconditional apology for a health and safety breach, involving one member of staff and two players, in the Maldives, on Saturday. The club will be dealing with this matter internally,” it said in a statement.