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Maldives Volleyball Team Members Affected by Chickenpox

Maldives men's volleyball team lost to Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) in a qualifying match of the Asian Games after at least three of its players were confirmed to have chicken// pox.

"Maldives team lost today's match against Taiwan 0-3," the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) said in a statement.

"Five players of Maldives have showed symptoms of chicken pox. The disease spreads easily and we have to make sure players of other teams are okay. That is our duty," said Shanrit Wongprasert, an AVC technical delegate.

Saeed Hussain, a 24-year-old spiker and the best player in the team, was the first player found with chicken pox and missed the team's first match with Kuwait Sunday.

"Hussain is in hospital now and we know he has been isolated from the team. The organisation committee has arranged accommodation for him outside the Athletes' Village," said Wongprasert.

"We informed Maldives Monday to take other players to the hospital to have a medical check, and once they get a letter from doctors that the other players do not have chicken pox, will we let them play," said AVC technical delegates.

"But they didn't take the players to hospital."

Ibrahim Ali, chef-de-mission of the Maldives contingent, refused to comment on the AVC's decision.

"We are negotiating with the AVC," said Ali. "We have come here so far to play. We can't leave now."

This match between Maldives and Taiwan of Pool A was previously scheduled to begin at 12 p.m., Tuesday.

After their opponents withdrew, Taiwan entered the preliminary Round II as Pool A topper along with Kuwait, who had beaten Maldives 3-0 Sunday.

"We are not worrying about the health of our players, but may be the teams that have played with Maldives should," said Huang Kuo-Kuang, the Taiwan team leader.

"We are now concentrating on our preparation for the other matches."

The men's vol leyball event opened Sunday with 16 teams competing for the title.

Host Qatar has directly entered the quarter-finals along with five World Championship participants, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Iran and Kazakhstan.

The other 10 teams, including Hong Kong, Macao and Chinese Taipei, have to compete for the remaining two berths in the quarter-finals.


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