Indian Football

Bengaluru FC's Owner Apologises After Club is Asked to Leave Maldives Over COVID-19 Protocol Breach

Arjun Singh Devgan
Bengaluru FC asked to leave Maldives over COVID-19 protocol breach
Bengaluru FC asked to leave Maldives over COVID-19 protocol breach / MANJUNATH KIRAN/Getty Images

Bengaluru FC owener, Parth Jindal took to social networking site, Twitter to apologise for the "inexcusable behaviour" of three of the club's foreign players and the staff after the Indian Super League (ISL) side were accused by the Maldives sports minister, Ahmed Mahloof of breaching the COVID-19 protocols in place.

Bengaluru arrived in Male on Friday for their AFC Cup play-off game against Club Eagles and while the exact nature of the breach has not been disclosed, Mahloof only went on to term the breach as "unacceptable behaviour".

"Unacceptable behavior from @bengalurufc breaching the strict guidelines from HPA (Health Protection Agency) & @theafcdotcom. The club should leave the Maldives immediately as we can't entertain this act," he said in a tweet.

"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."

Jindal for part admitted that Bengaluru FC had let down the AFC by breaching the Covid-19 protocols and promised "strictest action" against the offenders.

"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," he wrote.

Maldives is hosting 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.