Two ATK Mohun Bagan players — Prabir Das and SK Sahil — have tested positive forahead of the team’s departure for the AFC Cup group stage competition in Maldives.
The duo returned positive after all the team members underwent COVID-19 tests at a private hospital in Kolkata on May 7 before their travel to Maldives capital, Male for the Group D matches beginning on May 14.
Under the AFC protocols, competing players will have to have COVID-19 negative reports two days before departure from their home base. ATKMB are scheduled to leave for Maldives on Monday.
“Yes, Prabir Das and Sahil have tested positive and so they will be left out. All others have negative results,” a source in the ATKMB team told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
In their opening game on May 14, ATKMB are scheduled to face the winner of the play-off match between another ISL side Bengaluru FC and Eagles FC of Maldives to be played on Tuesday.
But ATKMB will decide when to depart from Kolkata after Maldives Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof’s had alleged that BFC had “breached” COVID-19 protocols and asked the AFC to cancel the play-off game and postpone the group stage matches also.
The nature of the alleged “breach” by BFC is not clear. BFC had reached Maldives on Friday.
“We are scheduled to depart on Monday but we are waiting a correspondence from the AFC regarding the status of the group stage matches after Maldives Sports Minister’s letter to AFC,” the ATKMB source said.
He said goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya will travel with the team despite his mother testing postive for COVID-19.
Captain Roy Krishna will directly reach Maldives from Fiji before the May 14 match, if the group stage games go ahead, he said.