PHNOM PENH – The Myanmar Football Federation has withdrawn from the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-23 Championship 2022 in Cambodia due to COVID-19 complications, the AFF announced in a press release on Tuesday, said Xinhua.
As part of health and safety measures for the ongoing tournament, the Myanmar U-23 team has undergone regular tests before and after arriving in Cambodia, the press release said.
Following confirmation of positive tests among a number of players, a decision has been taken to withdraw the team from the tournament to help minimise the risk of further infection, it said, adding that players and staff identified as close contacts have also been placed in isolation for observation.
“It is with great regret that the Myanmar U-23 team has to withdraw from the AFF U-23 Championship,” AFF president Khiev Sameth (picture) said.
“We understand that the team had been raring to kick off their campaign and the fans have been eager to catch the team in action. However, the health and safety of everyone involved are of utmost importance and we fully understand the decision that has been taken.”
Sameth wished the affected members a full and speedy recovery.
Myanmar was scheduled to kick off their campaign in Group B against Malaysia on Tuesday afternoon.
Myanmar is the second squad to withdraw from the AFF U-23 Championship, after reigning champions Indonesia announced their pullout last week due to COVID-19 complications.
The third edition of the AFF U-23 Championship 2022 kicked off in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, on Feb 14 and will last until Feb 26.
The remaining nine teams contesting the championship are hosts Cambodia, Timor-Leste, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.