The Maldives Sports Minister wants the Blues to leave the country after a few players moved out of the bio-bubble.
In a sudden turn of events, it has emerged that the AFC Cup 2021 playoff clash between Bengaluru FC and Club Eagles might not take place on May 11, after some BFC players breached health guidelines from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Maldives’ Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Ahmed Mahloof, the Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment in Maldives has asked the Football Association of Maldives (FAM) to not hold the Bengaluru FC – Club Eagles game. He took to Twitter to express his anger at the Blues earlier on Sunday, and termed their actions ‘unacceptable.’
The minister also called for the club to leave the country, as he wrote, “Unacceptable behaviour from Bengaluru FC, breaching the strict guidelines from HPA and AFC. The club should leave Maldives immediately as we can’t entertain this act. We honoured the commitment (to host the AFC Cup group stage) we gave (to AFC) a few months back, even with the surge in cases and pressure from the public.” In the tweet, he also quoted an article from local media outlet CNM, who reported that some BFC players broke hotel quarantine rules and ventured outside.
“We have informed FAM that we cannot hold the match and asked them to make arrangements for Bengaluru FC’s departure. We will be in further correspondence with AFC through the football association to postpone the group stage,” Mahloof added in a second tweet.
Are the allegations right?
Khel Now understands that some Bengaluru FC players did move out of the bio-bubble and that Maldives do not want to host the AFC Cup playoff game between them and Club Eagles. Meanwhile, the AFC is yet to arrive at a final decision. When contacted Bengaluru FC affirmed that they are are yet to receive an official intimation from the AFC regarding the ongoing situation.
Later, Parth Jindal, the director of JSW Sports, issued a public apology on Twitter and condemned the behaviour of the players.
“On behalf of Bengaluru FC, 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. We have let AFC Cup down and can only say that this will never happen again,” he wrote.