It is learnt that a dozen out of the 23 players in the group and four members of the support staff tested positive ahead of the crucial group-stage match against world number 39 Chinese Taipei. However, even as Taipei players took the field at Navi Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium at the official kick-off time, 7.30 pm, there was no one to face them.
With two players already out injured, and 12 testing positive, India had just nine players available for the Taipei game. Out of them, two had symptoms consistent with Covid-19.
According to tournament regulations, a team has to name a minimum of 13 players for a match to go ahead. The hosts' 'failure' to do so meant they could not take part in the match, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said, and as a consequence, had to withdraw from the competition.
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