MUMBAI: The AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 match between Chinese Taipei and India at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai could not be played Sunday. Following several positive cases of COVID-19, India failed to name the required minimum of 13 players for the Group A match against Chinese Taipei.
In accordance with Article 4.1 of the ‘Special Rules Applicable to AFC Competitions during the COVID-19 pandemic’ (Special Rules), India was therefore unable to participate in the match and the full provisions of Article 4.1 will apply.
Further, the inability of India to participate in the match also triggered Article 6 of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 regulations, which meant the host nation's team stood withdrawn from the tournament.
While exact numbers were not provided in the official release, PTI reported that 12 COVID-19 cases among the players led to the withdrawal.
Apart from the COVID-19 cases, two players were also laid low by injuries which made it impossible for India to field a team given that two of their footballers were already out of contention after being infected by the virus a few days ago.
Praful assures continued support
AIFF president Praful Patel, in his statement, commented: “We are as disappointed as probably the entire nation would be right now with this unwarranted situation. However, the players' health and well-being are of paramount importance to us, and it cannot be compromised under any circumstances. I wish all the infected players and team officials a swift and full recovery. They will be well supported by the AIFF and AFC.
“Our support for the Blue Tigresses will continue, and we will work to ensure that our players come back stronger. The AIFF also thanks the fans and is grateful for their continuous support in the joint endeavour to take Indian Football Forward Together.
“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.
“This is not the end of the world. The promise on display in the first match against IR Iran was there for all to see, and am confident they will bounce back from this temporary setback.”
“Unfortunately, this happened to us despite the best measures put in place, and it is sheer bad luck that it happened to us. Let there be no fingers pointed at any. We need to understand this is a pandemic situation, and no bubble is foolproof around the world.”