Myanmar football teams withdraw from tournaments again

Myanmar football teams withdraw from tournaments again

FILE PHOTO: Pyae Lyan Aung, a Myanmar national football substitute goalkeeper, shows a three-finger salute after announcing his intention to seek asylum, at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture, Japan June 17, 2021. Two Myanmar football teams have pulled out of Asian tournaments for the second year running, officials said Wednesday, as the country faces ongoing turmoil after last year's coup.
(Kyodo/via Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: Pyae Lyan Aung, a Myanmar national football substitute goalkeeper, shows a three-finger salute after announcing his intention to seek asylum, at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture, Japan June 17, 2021. Two Myanmar football teams have pulled out of Asian tournaments for the second year running, officials said Wednesday, as the country faces ongoing turmoil after last year's coup. (Kyodo/via Reuters)

Two Myanmar football teams have pulled out of Asian tournaments for the second year running, officials said Wednesday, as the country faces ongoing turmoil after last year's coup.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said Shan United FC withdrew from the AFC Champions League, while Hantharwady United FC pulled out of the AFC Cup.

The Champions League is Asia's top club tournament, while the AFC Cup is a second-tier club competition.

Hantharwady had been drawn in Group I for the AFC Cup, while Shan United were to take part in the preliminary stage of the Champions League.

No reason was given for the withdrawals, and there was no announcement on which teams would replace them.

Both teams pulled out of the same tournaments last year.

Myanmar has been gripped by violence since a coup in February last year ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government.

More than 1,400 civilians have since been killed in a military crackdown on dissent, according to a local monitoring group.

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