AFC Cup Qualifier : Colombo FC Foreigners Denied Visa
Travelling Sri Lankan outfit, Colombo FC, suffered a major setback on Sunday when three of their foreign recruits Nasiru Opayemi, Afis Olayemi Olofin and Momas Yapo were denied a visa by the High Commission of India in Colombo before their upcoming second leg encounter of the AFC Cup preliminary round qualifier against Mohun Bagan.
As a result, Colombo FC had to travel without their key players to Kolkata, something which will be somewhat of a morale booster for Bagan ahead of this crucial encounter. Colombo FC will have a daunting task ahead of them as they would look to overturn the deficit after they lost 2-1 to Bagan in the first leg.
All the three foreign recruits who will be missing the game are key players for Colombo FC. Defensive midfielder Momas Yapo and forward Afis Olayemi had a brilliant game against Bagan in the first leg, with the later scoring the only goal in the game for The Yellow Submarines.
A depleted Colombo FC coach Mohamed Roomy said that this was a major setback to his team's chances. Speaking to Sri Lanka's ThePapare.com he said, "It has been really hard as I have been forced to put together a new plan."
Roomy, doing his best to keep his team's morale high, stated that they have ready replacements for the missing players. “The three players play a vital role in defense, midfield and attack. Now I will have to replace them in a short period of time. However I have players who have played in those roles and will fit in nicely,” he added.
Colombo FC's owner Saif Yusoof was also not too pleased with this visa debacle. Speaking to ThePapare.com he said,"We got to know about this the day before we were scheduled to leave. I believe the High Commission has laws denying entry to Africans, especially Nigerians, from Sri Lanka."
However, The Yellow Submarines will make a last ditch attempt to procure a visa for Ivory Coast midfielder Momas Yapo according to their owner Saif Yusoof.
Colombo FC will be locking horns with Mohun Bagan on 7th February in the second leg of the AFC Cup preliminary round qualifier at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium.
Picture courtesy : ThePapare.com