BFC travel to Male despite unrest for AFC Cup Playoff

BFC travel to Male despite unrest for AFC Cup Playoff

Bengaluru were drawn to play Maldivian club TC Sports Club in an AFC Cup play-off with the first leg scheduled in the island nation on Tuesday.

"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". The government, on Saturday, had warned the Indian club to avoid travelling to Maldives, which has been in the state of emergency since February 5. "Indian nationals are, therefore, advised to defer all non-essential travels to Male and other atolls until further notice", the MEA statement read. After the away match on February 13, Bengaluru will host the return leg on February 20.

Tamhane explained that the MEA had issued "an advisory, not a travel ban". "They (Bengaluru) are going to Male for the match", an AIFF official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

But the Asian Football Confederation has not made a decision to postpone the game, and the Maldives government has extended an invitation to Bengaluru FC to play the game as per schedule. So as things stand, if the two-time top division champions of India decide not to show up, TC Sports may be handed a 3-0 walkover win. The return leg of the tie will be played in Bengaluru on February 20, with the victor progressing to the AFC Cup group stage.

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