ATK Mohun Bagan to play AFC Cup group stage matches in Maldives

Centralised venues for nine of the 10 groups in the 2021 AFC Cup, the Asian Football Confederation’s second-tier club competition, were announced on Monday.

The Jordanian capital Amman and Singapore will both host two groups each in the 2021 AFC Cup.   -  Getty Images

ATK Mohun Bagan, which is in Group D with Bashundhara Kings (BAN), Maziya Sports & Recreation (MDV) and the winner of the South Zone Play-off, will play its AFC Cup 2021 group games in Maldives.

Centralised venues for nine of the 10 groups in the 2021 AFC Cup, the Asian Football Confederation’s second-tier club competition, were announced on Monday after a one-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Jordanian capital Amman and Singapore will both host two groups each. Manama in Bahrain, Male in the Maldives as well as Dushanbe in Tajikistan, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and Hong Kong will also serve as venues for a group each when the competition returns in April.

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The West Zone matches in Group A, featuring Al Hidd Club (BHR), Al Nasr (OMA), Al Wahda (SYR) and defending champion Al Ahed FC (LBN) will be played in Manama, Bahrain.

Meanwhile, Group B, comprising Al Ansar FC (LBN), Muharraq Club (BHR), Al Salt (JOR) and Balata Center (PLE) as well as Group C, which consists of Al Faisaly (JOR), Al Seeb Club (OMA), Tishreen (SYR) and the winner of the West Zone Play-off match will be staged in Amman, Jordan.

FC Dordoi (KGZ) will be the host club in Group E, which also features Ahal FC (TKM) and FC Ravshan (TJK) with Dushanbe, Tajikistan providing the backdrop for the matches in Group F, which include FC Alay (KGZ), Altyn Asyr FC (TKM), FC Khujand (TJK) and the representative of Uzbekistan, AGMK FC or FC Nasaf, which will be decided after the AFC Champions League 2021 Play-off match.

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The hosts for one group - Group G in South East Asia - have yet to be decided. The 2020 edition of the AFC Cup was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic when quarantine regulations in many nations made international travel almost impossible.

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Last year's Asian Champions League, Asia's premier club competition, went ahead despite the difficulties, with Qatar hosting the majority of the tournament on a centralised basis.

South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai won that title, defeating Persepolis from Iran in the final in Doha.