Business as usual for Myanmar football despite military coup, says AFC

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) remains positive that the military coup in Myanmar will not disrupt the nation’s football scene.

AFC general secretary Datuk Windsor Paul John said the regional body has yet to receive any feedback from the Myanmar Football Federation and as such, it’s “business as usual”.

“I read the news about the military coming into power. But we have not heard from the (Myanmar) federation,” said Windsor.

“Unless there is interference, freezing of accounts or if the federation is unable to function, only then will we step in.”

While admitting “things were still unfolding in Myanmar”, Windsor pointed out that the federation had continued to operate despite being under military rule in the past.

Myanmar was ruled by the military since 1962 before the military-backed party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, won the elections in November 2010.

Many countries expressed deep concern over the latest situation in Myanmar and demanded the immediate release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi who, together with other National League for Democracy party leaders, was detained by the army yesterday.

The military justified the takeover based on allegations of irregularities during the November elections and said the country will be in a state of emergency for one year.

Myanmar’s domestic football league is scheduled to kick off in April. Myanmar Football Federation chair U Zaw Zaw was quoted by local media in December as saying that if the Covid-19 situation does not improve in the country, all matches will be played in Yangon.

Outside its borders, Myanmar’s biggest tournament would be the SEA Games in Vietnam in November.

Its national team is also involved in the World Cup/Asian Cup qualifiers. Myanmar plays Japan on March 25, Kyrgyzstan five days later and Tajikistan on June 15.

Myanmar’s Shan United or Ayeyawady United will also see action in the AFC Cup.