MEA directs Bengaluru FC to defer Maldives visit; here’s why

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Published: February 11, 2018 11:13:36 AM

Owing to the state of emergency in Maldives, Bengaluru FC has been directed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to defer their visit ot the island country.

Bengaluru FC, Maldives crisis, maldives, MEA, Sushma swaraj, football match, Asian Football ConfederationThe government told the club to “strictly adhere” to the MEA’s travel advisory issued on February 5, in which Indian nationals have been advised to “defer all non-essential travels to the island nation until further notice”.

Owing to the state of emergency in Maldives, Bengaluru FC has been directed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to defer their visit ot the island country. Team Bengaluru FC was supposed to visit Maldives for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) which was scheduled for Tuesday in Male City. The government told the club to “strictly adhere” to the MEA’s travel advisory issued on February 5, in which Indian nationals have been advised to “defer all non-essential travels to the island nation until further notice”. The MEA’s direction comes just a day after Maldives National Defence Force promised full support to the Indian side for its playoff match against TC Sports Club at Male’s National Stadium. The team was scheduled to depart on Sunday afternoon but now the Maldives crisis has thwarted their plans.

The government has also got in touch with All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das on the issue. In a letter to Srinivas Murthy, Head of Operations, Bengaluru FC, MEA under-secretary (Maldives, Indian Ocean Region) Sushil Prasad wrote that India has issued a travel advisory which advises Indian nationals to defer their trip to the Maldives until further notice. “This is in reference to the newspaper article… in The Indian Express Delhi edition of today about the visit of Bengaluru FC to Male to play a match of Asian Football Confederation Cup against TC Sports Club of Male at National Stadium in Male on February 13, 2018… Since the state of emergency imposed in the Republic of Maldives since February 5, 2018, India has issued a travel advisory… advising Indian nationals to defer their trip to the Maldives until further notice. Bengaluru FC is advised to adhere to it strictly and defer their proposed visit to the Maldives, ” the letter read.

It is now being believed that Bengaluru FC and AIFF will now plead the AFC to conduct the match on a later date. The concerned officials of Maldives have been apprised about the matter. However, they insited Bengaluru FC to make the trip. No final decision has yet bee taken and an official informed that they “left their fate in the hands of the AIFF”. Incase the match is not rescheduled, TC Sports Club of Maldives will be given an automatic 3-0 win on match day.

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