AFC Cup 2021: ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC to play their matches in Maldives
The Asian Football Confederation has that the AFC Cup 2021 playoffs and Group stage (South) matches will be held in the Maldives.
The Asian Football Confederation has confirmed on their website that the AFC Cup 2021 playoffs and Group stage (South) matches will be held in the Maldives.
The AFC Cup (South) Group D matches will be held across three match days on August 18, 21, and 24, with the eventual group leaders advancing to the single-leg Inter-Zone Semi-final. ATK Mohun Bagan FC and Bengaluru FC are the two clubs qualified for the AFC Cup and will represent India at the second-tier AFC competition. The AFC Cup was earlier scheduled to happen in May but was rescheduled because two Bengaluru FC players allegedly broke the bio-bubble. The government officials of Maldives raised this point, and the tournament was postponed to August.
Both ATK-Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC have signed quality players to their squad and have been planning their pre-season keeping with the AFC Cup in mind.
The Blues will play their playoff match against Club Eagles on August 15th, and the winner will join ATK Mohun Bagan FC, Maziya S&RC, and Bashundhara Kings in Group D.The group matches are scheduled to take place on August 18, 21, and 24, with the eventual group leaders advancing to the single-leg Inter-Zone Semi-final.
ATK Mohun Bagan have strengthened their squad by adding players like Hugo Boumous, Amrinder Singh, Joni Kauko, Ashutosh Mehta, Liston Colaco, and Deepak Tangri. The new signings have said they are keen to do well in the AFC Cup and will be hoping to become the first Indian club to win the AFC Cup.
For the Blues from Bangalore, the AFC Cup will be the major tournament that the new head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli will be leading the team in. The club has also added quality signings to their squad and will be going out all guns blazing in the AFC Cup after a disappointing ISL season. Bengaluru FC were the first Indian club to reach the final of the AFC Cup in 2016 when they beat JDT over two legs to qualify for the final. They ended up on the losing side after getting beaten by Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya.