KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation on Sunday announced the postponement of AFC Cup Group D matches, also involving Indian Super League side ATK Mohun Bagan, and which were scheduled to take place from May 14 to 21 in Male, Maldives.
The AFC did not give any reason but asked the participating teams to either return home or not to proceed to Maldives for the matches.
“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,” the AFC said in a statement.
“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.”
The other two teams in Group D are Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh and Maziya Sports & Recreation of Maldives.
The AFC had in March allotted the Group D games to Maldives as it wanted single venues for matches of each group in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The AFC Cup (South) Group Stage matches are now postponed until further notice with more information to be announced in due course,” the AFC said.
ATK Mohun Bagan were to open their campaign on May 14 against the winner of Tuesday’s play-off between another ISL side, Bengaluru FC, and Maldives’ Club Eagles in Male.
But the match is in doubt after Maldives Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof alleged “breach of COVID-19 protocols” by BFC players and wrote to the AFC to ask the Indian side to leave his country.