- Coach said no immediate steps were taken after hotel staff return COVID-19 negative
- Said there was lax in COVID test of hotel staff, who were tested once in six days
- Blamed AFC for not finding a solution since the bio-bubble maintained by the body
Indian women's football team coach Thomas Dennerby on Wednesday blamed the AFC for the country's ouster from the ongoing Asian Cup, alleging that the bio-bubble set up by the continental body wasn't foolproof as the home team players got affected due to COVID-19 positive hotel staff.
"We were all negative of COVID 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 a solution.
"Honestly, we are not happy with the 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 at all. AFC is a good organisation in total.
"Since the COVID 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."
(Reported by PTI)