Covid-19 outcome strikes India out of Asian Cup - Living Sports
Covid-19 outcome strikes India out of Asian Cup
Football MilkywayBlogs 24-Jan-2022 Comments (7) 12

Covid-19 outcome strikes India out of Asian Cup

Disaster struck the Indian women’s team when it was forced to sanction the AFC Women’s Asian Cup football league match against Chinese Taipei due to an outburst of Covid cases in the team in Navi Mumbai. With this evolution, the Indian team is out of the tournament. On 21st January morning, they received the outcome of the RT-PCR tests performed on the players.

From the outcome, it has been relieved that twelve Indian players tested positive for Covid and the match had to be called off as they could not put up the decreed number of 13 players, including one goalkeeper, as per the Asian Football Confederation instruction. Aside from 12 players testing positive, two players were injured.

AFC tournament Rule 4.1 requires: “If a Participating Team/Participating Club has less than thirteen (13) Participating Players (including one 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Team/Participating Club shall be held responsible for the Match not taking place and shall be considered to have withdrawn from the relevant Competition.”

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel said, “We are as disappointed as probably the entire nation would be right now with this unwarranted situation. The team is heartbroken, and I request all to respect their feelings and sentiments. I am proud of the great promise the team showed in their first match, and am confident that they will prove their mettle in the near future.”

There was a lot of uncertainty concerning the status of the match, even as the Chinese Taipei team was left to do warm-up practices while the Indian team sat in their hotel.

Tournament rules ruled that all Covid-related or other media statements have to come through the AFC channel. AIFF was ready to declare the confiscation much in advance but AFC officials announced the confiscation only minutes before the scheduled start.

On Wednesday, India’s third and final match was against China while the knockout phase starts on January 30. But due to today’s evolution, India has already missed the chance to participate in the 2023 FIFA World Cup. All the semifinalists from this tournament would straight qualify for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and two more of the remaining four quarterfinalists would get a direct berth to the World Cup if Australia make it to the semifinals of this tournament, which is highly expected. — TNS, agencies 

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