With football being one of India’s top sports behind cricket, it’s come as a huge setback hearing India’s women’s team were forced out of the Asian Cup due to Covid-19 cases plaguing the squad. This is a similar feeling for India given a similar disaster occurred in the Indian Premier League Cricket tournament in 2021, when it had to be halted midway due to outbreaks in the teams due to predicted outcomes of IPL matches. The season was subsequently moved to UAE in order to finish it off.
In the short term, it’s a disaster, although Indian football supporters will need to hope it’s just a long term set back, nothing more. They were hoping to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time and had hopes of getting to the quarter finals of the Asian Cup.
“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,” the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement late on Sunday. “In accordance with Article 4.1 of the ‘Special Rules Applicable to AFC Competitions during the Covid-19 pandemic’, India was therefore unable to participate in the match and the full provisions of Article 4.1 will apply.”
Article 4.1 effectively holds India accountable for not being able to field a team, therefore forcing a withdrawal from the competition. An unfortunate end to a promising tournament for Indian football.
Several of the teams have also had covid cases, however India seems to have the most, by a considerable margin. This is unfortunate, and officials have said it could have happened to anyone.
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