AFC Cup 2019: Chennaiyin FC to continue playing in Ahmedabad

CFC Media
The Marina Machans will face former I-League champions Minerva Punjab in their first match in the group stage

Chennaiyin FC and Minerva Punjab will begin their group stage assignments in the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Cup 2019, clubbed in Group E.

The two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions sealed their berth in the group stages of the competition with a 1-0 aggregate scoreline over Sri Lankan champions Colombo FC while Minerva Punjab crashed out of AFC Champions League 2019 qualifiers going down 4-0 against Iranian side Saipa FC.

Chennaiyin FC and Minerva Punjab will host their AFC Cup group stage home games at The Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad and Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar respectively. The first game between the two teams is on Wednesday, April 3.

The other teams that complete Group E are Manang Marshyangdi Club (Nepal) and Abahani Limited Dhaka (Bangladesh).

Chennaiyin released a statement clarifying their decision to play their AFC Cup fixtures in Ahmedabad. It read, "The club had requested for permission from SDAT (Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu) to host the group stage matches at Chennai.

"But by the time the approvals were received from SDAT, significant financial commitments were made by the club towards The Arena by TransStadia and in order to fulfill those obligations the club will play the home games of the group stage in Ahmedabad."

Group E fixtures:

April 3 Manang Marshyangdi v Abahani ANFA Complex, Kathmandu
  Chennaiyin v Minerva Punjab The Arena Stadium, Ahmedabad
April 17 Abahani v Minerva Punjab Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka
  Chennaiyin v Manang Marshyangdi The Arena Stadium, Ahmedabad
April 30 Chennaiyin v Abahani The Arena Stadium, Ahmedabad
May 1 Minerva Punjab v Manang Marshyangdi Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar
May 15 Manang Marshyangdi v Minerva Punjab ANFA Complex, Kathmandu
  Abahani v Chennaiyin Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka
May 19 Abahani v Manang Marshyangdi Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka
  Minerva Punjab v Chennaiyin Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar
May 26 Minerva Punjab v Abahani Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar
  Manang Marshyangdi v Chennaiyin ANFA Complex, Kathmandu