Bengaluru FC’s AFC Cup Tie Against Club Eagles in Jeopardy After Players Allegedly Flout Quarantine Rules

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Indian Super League (ISL) side Bengaluru FC‘s AFC cup match against Maldives’ Club Eagles is now in jeopardy after local media reports emerged that the Indian club allegedly flouted quarantine rules. Bengaluru FC are scheduled to play the match on Tuesday. The reports state that several Bengaluru players were photographed outside their hotel which was against the directive from the Sports Minister.

Maldives’ Minister of Youth, Sports & Community Empowerment, Ahmed Mahloof took to Twitter to show displeasure in Bengaluru FC’s behaviour.

He wrote, “Unacceptable behavior from@bengalurufc breaching the strict guidelines from HPA & @theafcdotcom.. The club should leave (Maldives) immediately as we can’t entertain this act. We honoured the commitment we gave a few months back even with the surge in cases & pressure from the public.”

The recent guidelines set by the Ministry of Tourism of Maldives set for tourists coming from India says that tourists can only stay in one place (where they book their resort) during their entire trip and no island-hopping is allowed.

Guidelines set by the Ministry of Tourism, Maldives for Indian tourists on April 25 reads:

1) Tourists arriving to the Maldives from India (including those exceeding transit stays of 24 hours) who have completed the prescribed dose(s) of a Covid-19 vaccine, must hold a negative result for a nucleic acid test (PCR test) for COVID- l9 prior to entry into the Maldives. The sample for said PCR test must be taken not more than 96 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure from the first port of embarkation en-route to the Maldives. Furthermore, all above mentioned tourists should undertake a PCR test for COVID- l9 within a maximum of 72 hours prior to their departure from the Maldives.   2. Maldivians and work permit holders to Maldives from India who have completed the prescribed dose(s) of a Covid-19 vaccine, must undertake a nucleic acid test (PCR test) for COVID- l9 within 24 hours of arrival to the Maldives and observe a mandatory travel quarantine of 10 days, followed by a negative PCR test result at the end of this period. However, children below one-year-old are exempted from the aforementioned requirement.   3. To halt any further check-ins of inbound tourists from India (including those exceeding transit stays of 24 hours in India) to Guesthouses and Hotels in Inhabited Islands (excluding hotels and guesthouses in secluded areas of the Inhabited Islands). 

In another Tweet, the Maldives’ Minister of Youth, Sports & Community Empowerment further wrote that he has asked the Football Association of Maldives to make Bengaluru FC’s departure.

“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” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Parth Jindal, owner of Bengaluru FC has apologised on behalf of the club for their behaviour in Male and has strictest action against the players who creached the protocol.

On behalf of@bengalurufc I am extremely sorry for the inexcusable behavior of three of our foreign players/staff while in Male – the strictest action will be taken against these players/staff. We have let @AFCCup down and can only say that this will never happen again,” Jinal wrote on Twitter.

The Bengaluru FC players and staff, who landed in Male on Friday, May 7, got straight down to business to prepare for the tough challenge, as the winners of the match will progress to the group stages of the 2021 AFC Cup.

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