For the second year in a row, Indian clubs are at risk of losing out on the AFC Cup, Asia’s second most important club tournament. While the AFC halted the competition last year because of the Covid-19 outbreak, Chennai City had to drop out on their first appearance in the championship. Indian clubs may face even more terrible news this year.
AFC is likely to cancel group D due to a clause issue, which will be a major setback for ATK Mohun Bagan, who are one of the group’s direct entry, and Bengaluru FC, who are one step away from qualifying.
Why are Indian clubs are at danger in Asia?
The games for Group D were supposed to take place in May at a consolidated location in the Maldives. Meanwhile, sports minister Ahmed Mahloof denied authorization after alleging a “breach of Covid-19 protocols” by BFC players.
Due to a lack of options, the AFC decided to postpone the matches.
The AFC then rescheduled the group games for August 18-24 and requested that teams submit applications by July 5 at the latest. The Maldives has expressed interest in hosting the tournament once more.
“The tournament will go ahead for sure, but if the organizers cannot find a suitable venue, the group will be cancelled. Bangladesh is trying to host the games in Sylhet. We have to see how AFC reacts to the bid. The Maldives looks difficult, given what happened in May.”
ATK Mohun Bagan has significantly strengthened their squad and informed the players that pre-season will begin later this summer in training for the AFC Cup.
Joni Kauko, a Finland midfielder who played at Euro 2020, was under the radar for a good performance in this tournament.
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