COVID outbreak forces India to be expelled from Asian Cup
The Women’s Asian Cup was thrown into turmoil when host India was expelled from the tournament after a COVID-19 outbreak prevented them from fielding a team for their Group A match against Taiwan on Sunday.
Regulations require coaches to nominate a squad of at least 13 players for each match and India’s failure to do so resulted in the cancellation of the match at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Thomas Dennerby’s team were expelled from the competition with all their results cancelled.
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“India’s inability to participate in the match (…) triggers Article 6 of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 Regulations,” the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement. a statement.
Article 6 states that “all Participating Member Associations undertake that their Participating Teams will play… all their matches in the Final until elimination”.
India, which is hosting the event for the first time since 1989, is no longer in contention, but the AFC has said the tournament will go ahead as planned.
Football Federation of India president Praful Patel said the team were “heartbroken”.
“We are as disappointed as the entire nation probably would be right now with this unwarranted situation,” Patel tweeted.
“However, the health and well-being of the players is of paramount importance to us and in no way can it be compromised.”
We are as disappointed as the entire nation probably would be right now at this unwarranted situation. However, the health and well-being of players is of paramount importance to us and cannot be compromised in any way.@IndianFootball @afcasiancup #IndianFootball
— Praful Patel (@praful_patel) January 23, 2022
India’s opening draw with Iran has been called off, turning Wednesday’s match between Iran and Taiwan into a qualifier for a quarter-final spot.
China became the first nation to book their place in the knockout stages with a 7-0 win over debutants Iran in their Group A match in Mumbai on Sunday.
The Chinese backed up their maiden win against Taiwan with a comprehensive win, with Wang Shuang celebrating her 27th birthday with two goals.