Indian Football

Despite ongoing political turmoil, Bengaluru FC leave for Maldives for AFC Cup tie

Last week the Ministry of External Affairs had asked Indian nationals to defer travel to Maldives because of the recent political developments there.

On Sunday, Bengaluru FC left for Maldives to play their AFC Cup first-leg play-off match against TC Sports Club on February 13 despite a government advisory not to travel to the island nation because of the prevailing political turmoil there.

The match will be held at Rasmee Dhandu Stadium in the capital city of Male. Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs had asked Indian nationals to defer travel to Maldives because of the recent political developments there.

According to reports, the MEA had also written another letter to the Bengaluru FC head of operations Srinivas Murthy, advising to defer the trip to Male.

“We have asked the AFC whether this match can be deferred but they (AFC) said in that case Bengaluru FC will have to forfeit the match and lose points. So, Bengaluru FC will have to play this match on Tuesday in Male. They (Bengaluru) are going to Male for the match,” an AIFF official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

A Bengaluru FC official also said that the club decided to travel to Maldives instead of forfeiting the match. “The Maldives National Defence Force has promised full security for the match and they have informed this to the AFC. So, we are going to Male for the match,” the official said just before the team’s departure.

-Inputs from PTI

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