All India matches in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup stand cancelled after their withdrawal from the tournament owing to a Covid-19 outbreak in their camp, the Asian Football Confederation said on Monday.

A day after the host nation failed to field a team against Chinese Taipei after as many as 12 players tested positive for the virus, the AFC issued a statement confirming that India “is considered to have withdrawn” from the tournament as per the guidelines.

AFC Women’s Asian Cup: Hosts India out of event after cancellation of Chinese Taipei match

Following the cancellation of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 Group A match between Chinese Taipei and India... India is considered to have withdrawn from the competition in accordance with Article 4.1 of the Special Rules Applicable to AFC Competitions during the Covid-19 pandemic’, the AFC said in a statement.

All matches of India are now cancelled and considered null and void pursuant to Article 6.5.5 of the Competition Regulations.

The continental body added that the result of the lone India match so far, against Iran, will not be taken into consideration while determining the final standings in the group.

Here are reactions to India’s heartbreaking exit from the tournament:

India were placed in Group A alongside eight-time champions China and Chinese Taipei, besides Iran.

For the avoidance of doubt, all points and goals in those matches shall not be taken into consideration when determining the final rankings in the group in conformity with Article 7.3 of the Competition Regulations.

Additionally, based on Article 7.4 of the Competition Regulations, the calculation of the best third-placed Participating Teams among all groups shall be determined by the method set out in Appendix 2 of the AFC Competition Operations Manual.

As a result of India’s forced withdrawal from the continental showpiece, only three teams China PR, Chinese Taipei and Islamic Republic of Iran - will now be participating in Group A of the competition.

To avoid any possible disparity in the final comparison between all third-placed teams, the results of the matches in Group B and C between the first, second and third-placed teams against the fourth-placed teams will not be counted.

India were unable to name a minimum 13-woman squad for the match and it was considered a withdrawal, according to the competition rules. India had originally named a 23-member squad for the continental tournament.

According to the rules any team that withdraws after the competition has started will have all their matches cancelled and considered null and void. Any points or goals earned in matches will not count towards determining the final rankings in the group.

The Rule 4.1 states: If a Participating Team/Participating Club has less than thirteen (13) Participating Players (including one [1] goalkeeper) available for a Match for any reason (whether or not relating to Covid-19), the relevant Participating Team / Participating Club shall not be able to participate in the Match.

“Such Participating Team / Participating Club shall be held responsible for the Match not taking place and shall be considered to have withdrawn from the relevant Competition.

Inputs from PTI