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State of emergency pushes back football season

The official football season was pushed back over state of emergency status in Maldives, declared on Monday night. | Photo: Ahmed Shurau/Avas

Maldives football season slated for official kick-off on Tuesday night has been cancelled over government induced state of emergency.

The charity shield event was scheduled for February 6, starting the football season in Maldives with New Radiant FC and TC Sports Club heading to the pitch. Charity shield game is played between the champion of Dhivehi Premier League and FA Cup champion team.

Both tournaments were won by New Radiant in 2017, so the Team-B is selected based on the runners-up position holder in either of the league. TC Sports Club ended 2017's season at second spot.

Football Association of Maldives (FAM) had promoted the charity shield event through various marketing and communication mediums on Monday, however the association pushed back the opening event after the president of Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom declared a state of emergency in the country.

The association had not disclosed the pushed-back date for the charity shield game.

Though the season kick-off match has been postponed, TC Sports Club is heading on the pitch to face-off India's Bangalore FC on Tuesday next week. Though the state of emergency would extend through next week, the cancellation of the AFC play-off game is unlikely due to its international status.

A similar state of emergency was declared back in 2015 during the time Maldives battled against Hong Kong in the World Cup qualifiers game at Galolhu stadium. However the game initially scheduled for night was moved to evening under police recommendation.

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