Bengaluru FC return from Maldives after postponement of AFC Cup match, go into quarantine

All the Bengaluru FC players and support staff are in mandatory quarantine in line with the standard protocols.

Press Trust of India May 11, 2021 08:38:33 IST
Bengaluru FC return from Maldives after postponement of AFC Cup match, go into quarantine

Bengaluru FC playeers during a training session. Image courtesy: Twitter/ @bengalurufc

New Delhi: ISL 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.

The postponement came after the host country's sports minister Ahmed Mahloof asked the ISL side to leave, citing breach of COVID-19 protocols, a sentiment echoed by club owner Parth Jindal.

"Bengaluru FC's 2021 AFC Cup 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.

The match was to take place on Tuesday.

Mahloof termed the breach as "unacceptable".

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.

The club later 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," it said in the statement.

"The club will be dealing with this matter internally."

Jindal too apologised for the "inexcusable behaviour of three foreign players/staff" and promised strictest action against them.

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.

"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," Mahloof tweeted from 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."

Jindal said he will ensure such events do not happen in future.

"On behalf of @bengalurufc I am extremely sorry for the inexcusable behaviour of three of our foreign players/staff while in Male - the strictest action will be taken against these players/staff," he tweeted.

"We have let @AFCCup down and can only say that this will never happen again."

Updated Date:

also read

Copa America 2021: Brazil Supreme Court to consider halting tournament amid COVID-19 crisis
Sports

Copa America 2021: Brazil Supreme Court to consider halting tournament amid COVID-19 crisis

Copa America organisers are battling the odds to pull off the world's oldest running international football tournament this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Euro 2020: Sergio Busquets tests positive for COVID-19, set to miss Spain's opener against Sweden
Sports

Euro 2020: Sergio Busquets tests positive for COVID-19, set to miss Spain's opener against Sweden

All other players in the Spanish squad tested negative for COVID-19, the federation said.

Euro 2020: Spain squad receives COVID-19 vaccinations three days before Sweden clash
Sports

Euro 2020: Spain squad receives COVID-19 vaccinations three days before Sweden clash

Spain start against Sweden in Group E on Monday night and it is possible some players will now feel the side-effects of the vaccination ahead of the fixture in Seville.