Bengaluru FC (BFC) is skeptical of the AFC Cup playoff match against Eagles FC to be held in Maldives on 11 May as the Sports Minister of the host country slammed the Indian Super League (ISL) team over the alleged violation of the Covid-19 rules and have asked to leave.
This Indian club has also accepted these allegations as true. The exact nature of the alleged breach by the BFC has not been revealed, but Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof termed its unacceptable behavior. The Bangalore team, led by Indian captain Sunil Chhetri, reached the Maldives on Friday. Club owner Partha Jindal also accepted the allegations as correct.
Earlier there were reports that some players of the club were seen on the streets of Male breaching quarantine rules. Jindal apologized for the unforgivable behavior of the three foreign players/employees and promised strict action against them. Local media reported that BFC players who arrived in the Maldives on Friday were spotted on the streets of Male. Players were not allowed to exit. Players were given special permission despite the ban on tourists due to the growing case of Coronavirus in India.
The unacceptable treatment of Bengaluru FC violated the stringent guidelines of the Health Protection Agency and AFC (Confederation of Asian Football), Mahloof wrote on Twitter. “We have informed the Maldives Football Association that we cannot organize the match and have asked them to prepare for the departure of Bengaluru FC. We will talk to the AFC through the Maldives Football Association to postpone the group stage. Despite increasing matters and public pressure, we honored our commitment made a few months ago.”
According to a local newspaper report, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) of Maldives had given special approval for the playoff match of the Eagles and Bengaluru FC. According to its terms, the players and staff were to be confined to the hotel at all times except for going to practice and matches. A picture surfaced showing BFC Australian player Eric Paratalu roaming the streets of Male.
Jindal then apologized for the players’ behavior and said that he would ensure that such an incident does not happen again in the future. He tweeted, “On behalf of Bengaluru FC, I apologize for the unforgivable behavior of my three foreign players/employees in Male. Strict action will be taken against these players/employees. We have hurt the reputation of the AFC Cup and can only say that it will never happen again.”
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