In only his second year helming Kuala Lumpur City, Chief Executive Officer Stanley Bernard, once again saw the City Boys punch above their weight, being crowned as South East Asian champions in the AFC Cup 2022 on Wednesday night, following an emphatic 5-2 victory over Indonesia’s PSM Makassar in the final at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium.


This honour that came without a trophy to show or parade about, marked another feather in the cap of his leadership following last season’s recapture of the Malaysia Cup, the first time the side from the nation’s capital bagged a major title since 1999’s FA Cup triumph.


The Red & White now march into the East Asia Inter Zone phase of the competition, where it is not entirely clear at this moment, who shall be waiting for them in the next knock-out duel, and whether their next fixture is at the semi-final or directly to the final stage.


This situation arose due to Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) recent ban upon All India Football Federation (AIFF) which also affects ATK Mohun Bagan’s involvement in the next round of the AFC Cup, and this could result in a disqualification of the South Asian Zone (Group D) winner paving a direct path for the City Boys to feature in the East Asia Inter Zone Final either against the East Asia Zone (Group J) winner (Eastern Long Lions) or the Central Zone champion (PFC Sogdiana), who will play each other in the semi-final on September 6, 2022 in Jizzax, Uzbekistan.


Stanley shared his concern of the matter with the New Straits Times on Friday, a couple of days after the celebrations had died down a little following that massive result.


“We are in the dark over the situation in India.”


“We don’t know if the match (ATK Mohun Bagan vs Kuala Lumpur City) will take place as for now the AIFF are suspended by FIFA.”


“We have no choice but to make the travel arrangement(s) (to Kolkata, India). We are required to reach there four days early for the match. We don’t really have much time to sort out the travel and logistics. We have to consider so many things.”


“It’s no more having just plan A and B, we need to have plan A to plan F. It’s tough to work in the dark but we have to do with what’s available,” he said.


As of press time, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have yet to shed light on the issue, whether the ban will be revoked in time for the semi-final to proceed on September 7, 2022, or whether Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh who finished level on points with ATK Mohun Bagan in the group stage would take the latter’s place, or whether the City Boys would be granted a technical decision as how Johor DT received in the 2015 edition?


To read the match report of KL City vs PSM Makassar on 24/8/2022 (AFC Cup), please click COMING SOON


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