Indian women’s football team coach Thomas Dennerby on Wednesday, January 26 blamed the AFC for the country’s ouster from the ongoing 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, alleging that the bio-bubble set-up by the continental body wasn’t fool proof as the home team players got affected due to COVID-19 positive hotel staff.
“We were all negative of COVID-19 when we reached the hotel and after the arrival tests. The first positive case came on the day we went out of hotel for training and the day later, seven hotel staff tested positive. It is not rocket science to know how the outbreak came,” he told PTI after a virtual media interaction.
“Moreover, seven hotel staff tested positive on January 17 tests and they informed about it one day later. What was AFC doing for whole one day, we don’t know. The hotel staff was not tested every three days just like the teams. The staff were being tested after six days, we don’t know the reason,” an angry Dennerby alleged.
He said since the COVID-19 breach happened at the bio-bubble maintained by the AFC, it should have found out a solution.
“Honestly, we are not happy with AFC tournament organisation and lack of solution oriented dialogue. We think that in one way that destroyed our dream. But we are not blaming the role of the AFC organisation, not all all. AFC is a good organisation in total.”
“Since the COVID-19 breach was not our fault, the AFC should have found out a solution. It was an exceptional situation and AFC could have taken steps like say postponing the matches by a few days.”
Dennerby maintained that AFC kept asking them to refer to a certain article of the special rules, which led to the team’s ouster.
“The only answers we get when we are trying to have a dialogue along with them (AFC) is we are following all the protocol, read article 4.1 of special rules, no AFC staff at the hotel are infected, but how do we know if it true or not,” added Dennerby as he speculated that two AFC have also been positive.
The allegations from Thomas Dennerby are big and will have to wait if the AFC and the AIFF react to the same.
In latest news, 19 players and six support staff by now have tested positive for COVID-19.