THE AFC CUP GROUP D MATCHES have been scheduled to take place in August, at Maldives, after numerous delays due to COVID-19.
The South Asian qualifying playoff match between Bengaluru FC and Club Eagles from Maldives will also take place at the same venue.
The National Football Stadium in Male was supposed to host these matches a few months prior but the games were postponed following Maldives FA's assertion that they were not able to host at that time due to the ongoing pandemic. The decision came in the wake of some Bengaluru FC players breaking quarantine protocols in Male.
Bengaluru FC will play Eagles on 15th August. The winner will join the Group D of AFC Cup 2021, which also features Bashundhara Kings (Bangladesh Federation Cup 2019-20 champions), Maziya (Dhivehi Premier League 2019-20 champions) and Mohun Bagan (I-League 2019-20 champions).
The full fixtures of the group stage are as follows:
Mohun Bagan vs Bengaluru/Eagles
Bashundhara Kings vs Maziya
Bengaluru/Eagles vs Bashundhara Kings
Maziya vs Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan vs Bashundhara Kings
Maziya vs Bengaluru/Eagles
The top team in the group will qualify for the Inter-Zone Playoff Semi-Finals (Structurally a quarter final for AFC Cup 2021), which is scheduled for September.
Given the Asean zone groups for AFC Cup (G, H & I) have already been cancelled for AFC Cup, there were doubts around whether this group would go ahead in the end. But both AFC and hosts Maldives have been proactive in their efforts to make sure the matches go ahead after all.