The AFC Cup Group D (South Zone) matches which were scheduled to take place in Maldives May 14-21, have been postponed until further notice, with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirming the news recently.
This step came after Maldives sports minister, Ahmed Mahloof slammed accused Super League (ISL) side, Bengaluru FC of breaching the COVID-19 protocols in place. The incident also led to Mahloof tweeting that Male would no longer be able to host the Play-off game between Bengaluru and Club Eagles, and all of the group matches.
“The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) can confirm that the AFC Cup (South) Group D matches, which were scheduled to take place from May 14 to 21, 2021, will not be held in Male, Maldives. Participating clubs who have travelled to Maldives will be required to arrange for their return home while adhering to the Covid-19 health and travel protocols put in place by the country. At the same time, the AFC is in contact with all other participating clubs and officials who have not entered Maldives to cancel their travel arrangements," a statement from the AFC read.
“The AFC Cup (South) Group Stage matches are now postponed until further notice with more information to be announced in due course."
Maldives were scheduled to host the play-off match and all the Group D matches as the AFC wanted single venues in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the matches originally scheduled to be held in the capital Male from May 14-21.
Group D includes India's ATK Mohun Bagan, Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh, Maldives' Maziya Sports & Recreation and the winner of the playoff, and the AFC have not given any revised dates for the game.