Sun, 22 May 2022

New Delhi [India], January 23 (ANI): AIFF President Praful Patel expressed disappointment after the Group A match between India and Chinese Taipei in the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022 got cancelled after a string of positive COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp.

Based on the recent announcement by the Asian Football Confederation, it is unfortunate that the Indian Women's Football Team were unable to register the required minimum of 13 players for their Group A match against Chinese Taipei in the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022, and were therefore unable to participate in the match.

"We are as disappointed as probably the entire nation would be right now with this unwarranted situation. 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," said Praful Patel in an official statement.

"Our support for the Blue Tigresses will continue, and we will work to ensure that our players come back stronger. The AIFF also thanks the fans and is grateful for their continuous support in the joint endeavour to take Indian Football Forward Together," the AIFF President averred.

The AIFF President further urged everyone to respect the sentiments of the Blue Tigresses and said he is confident that they will bounce back from this setback.

"The team is heartbroken, and I request all to respect their feelings and sentiments. I am proud of the great promise the team showed in their first match, and am confident that they will prove their mettle in the near future. This is not the end of the world. The promise on display in the first match against IR Iran was there for all to see, and am confident they will bounce back from this temporary setback," said the AIFF President.

"Unfortunately, this happened to us despite the best measures put in place, and it is sheer bad luck that it happened to us. Let there be no fingers pointed at any. We need to understand this is a pandemic situation, and no bubble is fool-proof around the world," he added.

Chinese Taipei had gone down 0-4 to China in their opening match. As things stand, China are at the top of Group A with three points, while India and Iran are tied for the second spot with one point each. Chinese Taipei are yet to open their account.India had played out a goalless draw against IR Iran in their opening match of the tournament. (ANI)

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