Indian women’s football team could not field an 11 against Chinese Taipei due to the sudden COVID 19 outburst. Hence, they got forced out of the AFC Women’s Asia Cup 2022 at home.
The hosts were preparing for the AFC Women’s Asia Cup for more than two years. They took tours to Europe, Asia, and South America for preparation.
India’s women team were in the Group A with the eight-time champions China, Chinese Taipei, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
They did well and were dominant against the Iran women team in the opener last week but could not get the win and had to settle for a draw.
The hosts were set to take on Chinese Taipei on Sunday at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. But, there was a sudden rise of COVID 19 cases in the camp as 12 players tested positive.
Moreover, two players were due to their respective injuries so India women’s football team could not field enough players from the given squad of 23 players.
Asian Football Confederation’s statement
The AFC issued an official statement: “Following the cancellation of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 Group A match between Chinese Taipei and India… India is considered to have withdrawn from the competition in accordance with Article 4.1 of the ‘Special Rules Applicable to AFC Competitions during the COVID-19 pandemic’
“All matches of India are now canceled and considered null and void according to Article 6.5.5 of the Competition Regulations.”
So, India’s only match so far in the AFC Women’s Asia Cup 2022 against Iran is considered null and void as India is considered to have withdrawn from the competition.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all points and goals in those matches shall not be taken into consideration when determining the final rankings in the group in conformity with Article 7.3 of the Competition Regulations.” “Additionally, based on Article 7.4 of the Competition Regulations, the calculation of the best third-placed Participating Teams among all groups shall be determined by the method set out in Appendix 2 of the AFC Competition Operations Manual.”
Also, since the Indian women’s football team were forced to go out of the FC Women’s Asia Cup 2022 because of unavoidable reasons, Group A will now have only three teams China, Chinese Taipei, and Iran.
“To avoid any possible disparity in the final comparison between all third-placed teams, the results of the matches in Group B and C between the first, second, and third-placed teams against the fourth-placed teams will not be counted.”
I wish all the infected players and team officials a swift and full recovery. They will be well supported by the @IndianFootball and @theafcdotcom.
The team is heartbroken, and I request all to their feelings and sentiments. #WAC2022 #BlueTigresses #IndianFootball
— Praful Patel (@praful_patel) January 23, 2022
Indian Women’s football team could not follow Rule 4.1 because of COVID cases
The hosts could not field a bare minimum of the 13 players squad for the match so according to the competition rules they had to withdraw.
The Rule 4.1 states: “If a Participating Team/Participating Club has less than thirteen (13) Participating Players (including one  goalkeeper) available for a Match for any reason (whether or not relating to COVID-19), the relevant Participating Team / Participating Club shall not be able to participate in the Match”.
“Such Participating Team / Participating Club shall be held responsible for the Match not taking place and shall be considered to have withdrawn from the relevant Competition.”