Bengaluru FC’s AFC Cup play-off fixture rescheduled to May 11

Bengaluru FC were earlier scheduled to play their play-off fixture on April 28. The 2016 AFC runners-up will now travel to Maldives to take on hosts Club Eagles next month.

Bengaluru FC’s AFC Cup play-off match, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this month, has been rescheduled for May 11.

BFC, runners-up in 2016, were earlier scheduled to play on April 28.

They will now travel to Maldives to take on hosts Club Eagles next month for the group D fixture.

“The sub-committee also agreed to award the Playoff Stage slot to Club Eagles, who will now face India’s JSW Bengaluru FC for a place in the AFC Cup Group D on May 11, 2021 in Maldives,” Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a press release on Friday.

BFC were earlier drawn to play the winners of the match between six-time Bangladesh Premier League champions Abahani and Maldives’ Eagles.

However, a countrywide lockdown and travel restrictions in Bangladesh forced Abahani to withdraw from the tournament.

“Taking into careful consideration the exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the lockdown and travel restrictions in Bangladesh, the Sub-Committee decided that Abahani Limited Dhaka are considered to have withdrawn from the AFC Cup 2021 and that the situation constituted an event of force majeure.”

The AFC also announced that Myanmar clubs Hantharwady United FC and Shan United FC have withdrawn from the AFC Cup and AFC Champions League, respectively.

“The AFC Competitions Committee noted and acknowledged the challenges as well as the present complexities caused by the state of emergency in Myanmar and decided that the situation constituted an event of force majeure.”

In light of the development, the AFC Competitions Committee has cancelled the Champions League preliminary stage match between Shan United FC and Melbourne City FC.

“To determine the remaining slots for the 2021 AFC Club Competitions, the AFC Competitions Committee has decided to cancel the AFC Champions League Preliminary Stage match between Shan United FC and Australia’s Melbourne City FC, who will now advance to the playoff stage where they will face Cerezo Osaka from Japan.”

The committee also cancelled the AFC Cup playoff stage match between Hantharwady United FC, who were originally scheduled to face the winner of the preliminary stage match between FC Chanthabouly from Laos and Brunei Darussalam’s Kasuka FC.

“FC Chanthabouly and Kasuka FC will instead compete for a direct slot in Group G occupying position G4, alongside Hanoi FC from Vietnam, Bali United FC from Indonesia and Cambodia’s Boeung Ket,” the statement read.

The AFC Cup playoff stage match between Persipura Jayapura and the winner of the preliminary stage tie between Visakha FC and Lalenok United FC has also been called off.

“Persipura Jayapura has instead received an automatic entry into Group H in position H4, alongside Kedah Darul Aman from Malaysia, Singapore’s Lion City Sailors FC and Saigon FC from Vietnam, while Visakha FC and Lalenok United FC will compete for a place in Group I.”

In their last outing, BFC thrashed Nepal’s Tribhuvan Army FC 5-0 in Bambolim, Goa.

The fixture was new coach Marco Pezzaiuoli’s first competitive game in charge of the Blues, since his appointment as head coach in February.

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