Myanmar’s football team withdrawn from the ASEAN Under-23 Championship

ASEAN Under-23 Championship Lose Myanmar

COVID Remains an Obstacle for Under-23 Championship football clubs

Myanmar’s football team has withdrawn from the ASEAN Under-23 Championship being held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 14 February until 26 February 2022. Myanmar is already the second team to withdraw from the tournament due to COVID-19 related reasons. Defending champions Indonesia withdrew early last week prior to the start of the tourney.

Myanmar’s Under-23 football club had 21 out of their 26 players who tested positive for COVID-19 or carried the symptoms. The team can only afford to dress up 5 players fit to play football. Velizar Popov, Myanmar’s football coach, announced via his personal Facebook account that the health and welfare of staff and players are the main priorities here. People’s lives could be at stake if we push through, and we could not afford to do that simply because of a football tournament. The Bulgarian coach described his team as potential “danger” and “contagious” to other people participating in the inaugural tournament.

The Myanmar football team trained hard for weeks in preparation for this year’s AFF Under-23 Youth Championship; too bad, all the hard work is yet to come into fruition as they have to let this year’s tourney event pass.

ASEAN Football Federation president Khieu Sameth formally announced this on the organisation’s website. 

“It is with great regret that the Myanmar Under-23 team has to withdraw from the AFF Under-23 Championship. However, the health and safety of everyone involved are of utmost importance, and we fully understand the decision that has been taken.”

Myanmar’s football team, who have already flown to Cambodia, will remain in the country while their players get treatment. The players will only be advised to leave Cambodia after passing three negative COVID-19 tests.

The AFF Under-23 Youth Championship is already in full blast. With Myanmar and defending champions Indonesia out of the picture, there are 9 teams currently competing in the tournament. Tournament favourite Australia did not participate at this year’s event even after passing the tourney’s qualifiers.

Fans can keep track of the tournament by visiting the AFF Under-23 Youth Championship’s official website for scores, schedules, and updates.

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