The Marina Machans will face the likes of Minerva Punjab, Manang Marshyangdi Club and Abahani Limited Dhaka in the group stage.

Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC will be playing the home fixtures of their 2019 AFC Cup group stage at The Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad, the club confirmed on Sunday.

The Marina Machans played the home leg of their two-legged qualifying playoff against Colombo FC in Ahmedabad as playing a Sri Lankan opponent in Tamil Nadu was not politically conducive.

Chennaiyin are also the first ever ISL side to play in the AFC Cup. Although current champions Bengaluru FC have played in the tournament earlier, the Blues secured qualification when they were part of I-League.

In an official statement released by the club, Chennaiyin FC revealed that they had requested for permission from SDAT (Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu) to host the group stage matches at Chennai. However, by the time the approvals were received from SDAT, significant financial commitments were made by the club towards The Arena by TransStadia and in order to fulfill those obligations the club will play the home games of the group stage in Ahmedabad.

The club also said that they will not make any further comment on this development.


Below is the confirmed fixture schedule for Chennaiyin FC’s 2019 AFC Cup group stage matches (Group E):

Matchday 1 – Wednesday 3rd April 2019 – Chennaiyin FC (IND) v Minerva Punjab (IND) – 7:30 PM KO – The Arena Stadium, Ahmedabad

Matchday 2 – Wednesday 17th April 2019 – Chennaiyin FC (IND) v Manang Marshyangdi Club (NEP) – 7:30 PM KO – The Arena Stadium, Ahmedabad

Matchday 3 – Tuesday 30th April 2019 – Chennaiyin FC (IND) v Abahani Limited Dhaka (BAN) – 7:30 PM KO – The Arena Stadium, Ahmedabad

Matchday 4 – Wednesday 15th May 2019 – Abahani Limited Dhaka (BAN) v Chennaiyin FC (IND) – 7 PM KO – Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Matchday 5 – Wednesday 19th June 2019 – Minerva Punjab (IND) v Chennaiyin FC (IND) – 6:30 PM KO – Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

Matchday 6 – Wednesday 26th June 2019 – Manang Marshyangdi Club (NEP) v Chennaiyin FC (IND) – TBC KO – ANFA Complex, Kathmandu, Nepal