COVID forces hosts India out of Women’s Asian Cup

Jan 23, 2022: India were knocked out of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup on Sunday when a group match against Chinese Taipei was canceled a few minutes before the kick-off here due to a dozen COVID cases among their players.

In addition to the COVID-19 cases, two players were injured.

As a result India would be considered withdrawn from the tournament, which will otherwise continue as scheduled, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement.

According to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Article 4.1 of the tournament rules comes into effect, which makes it clear that if a team fails to assemble for a match, it would be “considered to have withdrawn from the relevant Competition.” All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel also issued a statement expressing sadness at the turn of events but surprisingly did not clarify the team’s tournament status.

“However, the players’ health and well-being are of paramount importance to us, and it cannot be compromised under any circumstances. I wish all the infected players and team officials a swift and full recovery. They will be well supported by the AIFF and AFC.”

All the semifinalists of the ongoing tournament will directly qualify for the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The Women’s Asian Cup is the latest in a series of Indian sports events that have derailed due to the spread of various Omicron in the country.

The men’s singles final of the Syed Modi International Badminton Tournament was canceled in Lucknow after a rival tested positive for the virus. One week ago, the India Open badminton tournament was affected by several withdrawals, including men’s top seed Kadambi Srikanth.

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