Shillong, May 10: In a major breach and embarrassment to the club and country, Bengaluru FC were ordered to leave the Maldives after two of their players and one member of staff exited the Covid-19 bio-bubble and were seen walking around the country’s capital Male.

Bengaluru, who have within their ranks Meghalaya midfielder Damaitphang Lyngdoh, were set to play Maldivian side Eagles FC tomorrow in the AFC Cup playoff. However, after a photo emerged of the three BFC members outside the bubble, the country’s sports minister told the team to leave the island nation.

The AFC later postponed the match and all Group D fixtures of the AFC Cup; the winner of the playoff would have slotted into Group D. That had an effect on another Indian club – ATK Mohun Bagan, who had already qualified and were drawn in Group D.

In an announcement on social media, the Blues said they apologised unconditionally for the health and safety breach, describing it as “an error of judgement” and saying that it will be dealt with internally.

All the Group D games were meant to be held in the Maldives. Bengaluru had received special permission to travel there despite the ban on visitors from India because of the Covid-19 surge in this country.

(Photo: Bengaluru FC/Facebook)

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