India’s match against Chinese Taipei wasn’t played due to an outbreak of COVID in the Indian camp.

India’s match against Chinese Taipei in AFC Women’s Asian Cup stands cancelled due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian camp. This was supposed to be India’s second game in the tournament following the goalless stalemate against Iran, which centre-back Sweety Devi missed after testing COVID positive.

Following several positive cases of COVID-19, India failed to name the required minimum of 13 players for the Group A match against Chinese Taipei. In accordance with Article 4.1 of the ‘Special Rules Applicable to AFC Competitions during the COVID-19 pandemic’ (Special Rules), India was therefore unable to participate in the match and the full provisions of Article 4.1 will apply.

To put into perspective, the tournament is being played in a bio-bubble, and fans haven’t been allowed in the stadiums. The media, too, only has limited access, restricted to the media boxes. This match was crucial for India’s chances in the tournament, but they are now out of the tournament. The AFC added – ‘Further, the inability of India to participate in the match also triggers Article 6 of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 regulations.

Indian Football Team yet to come out for training

The AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 will continue to be played as scheduled. The Group winners, runners-up and the two best third-placed teams will qualify for the Quarter-finals.

A source close to developments had told Khel Now earlier in the evening, “Situation is very bad. COVID-positive cases in the Indian camp are in the double-digits. The team may not be able to field enough players against Chinese Taipei in the game tonight. That would mean a withdrawal with Chinese Taipei winning 3-0 automatically. Official confirmation is pending and it will come in by 7:30.”

Another source had informed Khel Now that at least 11 members of the Indian camp are RT-PCR positive, while the results for two are awaited. These two were positive in the antigen test, and were re-tested by the RT-PCR method. The AFC Statement read –

“The matter will now be referred to the relevant AFC Committee(s) in accordance with the applicable regulations. The AFC has maintained an open line of communication with the teams and participating Member Associations throughout the competition to deal with all their concerns and enquiries in a timely manner. 

The AFC Medical Team continues to work closely with the Local Organising Committee and the AIFF to prioritise the health and wellbeing of the teams, officials and stakeholders. Appropriate medical care is being provided to the infected players and the AFC wishes them a full and speedy recovery.”

As it stands in Group A

So far, three games have been played in Group A. China and Chinese Taipei opened the proceedings, with China taking home all three points. India was then held by Iran in a frustrating goalless draw, both teams taking a point each. In the third game played earlier today, China routed Iran 7-0, and will end the league stage as league leaders. The Blue Tigresses were scheduled to play China on January 26 (Wednesday), but are now out of the tournament.

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