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AFC Women’s Asian Cup: India’s Game Against Chinese Taipei Called Off After COVID-19 Outbreak

India’s group stage game against Chinese Taipei in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup has been called off after an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian camp. “The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed that 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 today. 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,” the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) stated in a press release.

“Further, the inability of India to participate in the match also triggers Article 6 of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 regulations,” the statement added.

“The AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 will continue to be played as scheduled with the Group winners, runners-up and the two best third-placed teams qualifying to the Quarter-finals.

“The matter will now be referred to the relevant AFC Committee(s) in accordance with the applicable regulations.

“The AFC has maintained an open line of communication with the teams and participating Member Associations throughout the competition to deal with all their concerns and enquiries in a timely manner.

“The AFC Medical Team continues to work closely with the Local Organising Committee and the AIFF to prioritise the health and wellbeing of the teams, officials and stakeholders. Appropriate medical care is being provided to the infected players and the AFC wishes them a full and speedy recovery.”

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel said: “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.”

Patel added, “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.”

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