Fearing sanctions from AFC, Bengaluru FC land in Maldives despite government advisory

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

Bengaluru made the journey despite the Ministry of External Affairs' travel advisory, which directed Indian citizens to defer their travel to the island nation.

The second leg of this playoff takes place at Kanteerava on 20th February and if Bengaluru manage to win this tie, it will set them up for an epic opening clash in the AFC Cup group stage against the current champions of India, Aizawl FC, on 7th March.

Bengaluru FC (BFC) have made a decision to go ahead with their trip to Maldives for their AFC Cup playoff first leg match against TC Sports Club on February 13 despite the unrest reportedly prevailing in parts of the country. So, Bengaluru FC will have to play this match on Tuesday in Male. However, the continental body refused to reschedule the match, citing that the host club had given all the necessary assurances. "After communicating with the Asian Football Confederation, the AIFF co-ordinated with the MEA and in the end, we received the clearance to travel. Bengaluru FC is advised to adhere to it strictly and defer their proposed visit to Maldives".

"We wanted to avoid all the complications".

But the Asian Football Confederation has not chose to postpone the game, and the Maldives government has extended an invitation to Bengaluru FC to play the game as per schedule. Tamhane said the team is all set to fly out on Sunday afternoon with all the bookings done but with the situation in Male remaining grim, the team will now wait for a final clearance from the MEA and the All India Football Federation.