Pahang FA could be forced to miss Tuesday’s AFC Cup knock-out stage with Persipura Jayapura after their foreign players were denied visas to travel to Indonesia.
VIDEO: Pahang FA 7-4 Yadanarbon
The Malaysia Super League outfit, who travelled to the neighbouring country on Saturday, returned to Kuala Lumpur in the next day following the visa’s refusal for Damion Stewart (Jamaica), Zesh Rehman (Pakistan), Matias Conti (Argentina) and Dickson Nwakaeme (Nigeria).
Tok Gajah’s honorary-secretary Fuzeimi Ibrahim said the Indonesian Football Federation (PSSI) had failed to sort out the visa issues despite his side having submitted the related documents on May 18 to the Indonesian Embassy in Malaysia.
“We were promised that everything will be sorted out and the players will be issued visa on arrival. Sadly, the players were left stranded at the Jakarta airport and we decided to return home,” he said.
“According to this case, we will lodge an official complaint to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Monday.”
Pahang qualified to the Round of 16 tie after securing the second-place of Group G behind Hong Kong giants South China.
UPDATE: The AFC has released a statement confirming the match will not be played on Tuesday as scheduled, adding that they are “in the process of gathering information from all relevant parties.”
“Once the investigation is concluded, a report will be submitted to the appropriate AFC Committees for a final decision.”
Article 4.1.2 of the AFC Cup competition regulations states that host clubs (in this case, Persipura) and their Member Associations (Indonesia) “must guarantee and ensure that visas are granted … without any discrimination on the basis of gender, race, or nationality,” and “shall forfeit any affected Match in accordance with the AFC Disciplinary Code” should this rule be violated.