The AFC Cup 2021 Playoff and Group Stage-South matches will be held in the Maldives, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed on Monday
The AFC Cup 2021 Playoff and Group Stage-South matches will be held in the Maldives, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed on Monday. The matches were canceled earlier in May when some players breached Covid protocol.
While the playoff match between Club Eagles and India's Bengaluru FC is scheduled for August 15, the winners will join India’s ATK Mohun Bagan FC, Maldives' Maziya Sports & Recreation, and Bangladesh's Bashundhara Kings in Group D.
These Group D matches will be held in the Maldives as well on August 18, 21, and 24, with the eventual group leaders advancing to the single-leg Inter-Zone Semi-final.
While the Maldives first won the bid to host the matches in March 2021, these matches scheduled for May were canceled after some players of Bengaluru FC breached the country's Covid-19 safety protocols ahead of the playoff game against the Eagles.
Maldives’ Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof had written to AFC in May, asking to take action against the Indian club when the three players were found roaming on the streets in the Maldives in violation of Covid norms.
The AFC later announced the decision to postpone the matches.