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  • Justin Grimm

Teams Adjusting Without Foreign Players

Image property of The Diplomat

Teams such as Ulaanbaatar City splurged on expensive foreign signings during the offseason. However, the team sits in 6th position in the 10-team table at this early point of the season, surely thanks in part to a travel ban imposed by the Mongolian government which has prevented foreign players from entering Mongolia and linking up with their teams.

The travel ban, which has been in place for months because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is currently set to be in effect until at least 15 July. The ban includes all international flights and rail travel. The road borders between Mongolia and Russia and Mongolia and China have also been closed, making the country virtually inaccessible.

Mongolia had its first confirmed case of the novel Corona Virus on 10 March 2020. As of today, the country has had 287 confirmed cases with zero confirmed deaths. 74 of the cases are still active.

The travel restrictions may extend even further into the 2020 season after the situation is reevaluated by the Mongolian government.

It is unclear if any or all foreign signings will still link up with Mongolian clubs, even after the restrictions are lifted, now or sometime later in the season.

Without the foreign player the league goes on and has been providing entertaining matches with more playing opportunities for domestic players. While there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the season, one thing is for sure: it will be an interesting season for Mongolian football.

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