Bengaluru FC travels to Maldives for AFC Cup playoff

Despite the prevailing unrest in Maldives, Bengaluru FC has decided to travel to the South Asian island nation to compete in its AFC Cup first-leg playoff match against TC Sports Club.

Bengaluru FC players during a training session at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

Despite the prevailing unrest in Maldives, Bengaluru FC (BFC) has decided to travel to the South Asian island nation to compete in its AFC Cup first-leg playoff match against TC Sports Club. The match will be held at Rasmee Dhandu Stadium, in the capital city of Male, on Tuesday night. The BFC contingent departed from Bengaluru on Sunday afternoon.

BFC CTO Mandar Tamhane stated, "We have got all the relevant assurances and permissions from All India Football Federation (AIFF), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Asian Football Confederation

(AFC). The club is confident that there is no threat to the safety of our players and staff.”

Around a week ago, a concerned MEA had asked Indian nationals to defer travel to Maldives. “The prevailing political developments in Maldives and the resultant law and order situation is a matter of concern for the Government of India. Indian nationals are, therefore, advised to defer all non-essential travels to Male and other atolls until further notice,” the MEA statement read.

Tamhane explained that the MEA had issued “an advisory, not a travel ban”.

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