ATK Mohun Bagan could be without key personnel for group stages of the AFC Cup. There is growing doubt over the arrival of coach Antonio Lopez Habas and his coaching staff. Key foreign players like Roy Krishna and David Williams are also likely to miss group stages of the AFC Cup.
The tournament has a 3+1 rule, which allows all clubs to have at most four foreign players in their squad, including a player from an AFC (Asian Football Federation) member association.
Krishna is unlikely to arrive due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown in Fiji. It is a major setback for the mariners as Krishna was their top scorer for the ISL 20/21 season, scoring 14 goals in 23 matches. Williams’ arrival is also doubtful as Australia has banned incoming flights to India due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. It remains to be seen if these two players can take part in the competition.
Goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya is also likely to stay back in Kolkata as his mother has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is undergoing treatment at the moment. These three players are going to be big misses for Mohun Bagan. It provides a massive dent to their hopes of going into the next round.
Other players will undergo a COVID-19 test in a private hospital in Kolkata on May 7 before the squad leaves for the Maldives. Bengaluru FC, who are set to play their play-offs tie against Madlives’ Club Eagles on May 11, will leave for the country on May 7. The team is currently staying in Goa.
AFC has decided to go ahead and conduct the matches of AFC Cup Group D in the Maldives. The Maldives FA wanted the AFC to postpone the AFC Cup matches of Group D due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country.