I-League suspended for at least a week as 8 players test positive for Covid-19

The I-League was suspended for at least a week on Wednesday after the COVID-19 breached its bio-bubble as eight players and three officials tested positive for the dreaded virus. Was. Five players from Real Kashmir FC and three team officials, one each from Mohammedan Sporting, debutants Srinidi Deccan FC and Aizawl FC returned positive in the tests conducted on Tuesday. “The next round of matches (on December 30 and 31) will be rescheduled. We will review the situation on January 4.

The first round matches were played on Sunday and Monday while the third round matches were played on 4 and 5 January.

Srinidi, Mohammedan Sporting, Neroca and Aizawl FC have their matches on Thursday while RKFC’s matches are on Friday. All these matches of the second round will now be played later.

No match was scheduled for Wednesday.

According to sources in the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the matches scheduled for January 4 are unlikely to be played, but there is a possibility that January 5 games will be held if no more positive cases are reported.

An I-League statement said that all players who have tested positive have already been isolated with AIFF surveillance and subsequent regular medical consultations arranged.

The outbreak occurred at the Novotel Hotel, one of three bio-bubbles set up by organizers for the football league that began on Sunday.

Apart from RKFC, Srinidi Deccan and Mohammedan Sporting, the three other teams staying at Novotel Hotel are Rajasthan United, Aizawl FC and Neroca.

Dutta chaired an emergency virtual meeting of the league committee to take a decision on continuing or postponing the league.

“The Committee unanimously decided to postpone the Hero I-League 2021-22 matches for the next round, which were scheduled to take place from December 30-31, 2021,” the league statement said.

“Once all test results are out on January 4, 2022, the league will review the situation and then reach a consensus, including the next round of matches, on January 4-5, 2022.”

It said all players, staff and referees have been tested on Wednesday. They will be tested again on January 1 and 3.

The I-League committee said that it has taken seriously the advice of Dr Harsh Mahajan, member of the AIFF Sports Medical Committee, “to adhere to the medical standards and move forward together without compromising on the health of the players which is very much.” Important.”

“Dr. Mahajan informs that there should be minimal contact between all for the next 5-7 days as studies indicate that both Delta and Omicron types can be passed on to other human bodies within this period.

Earlier in the day, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar had confirmed the COVID outbreak and said that the safety of players and officials is of paramount importance.

Thirteen teams are competing at three venues in this year’s I-League – Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata, Kalyani Stadium in Kalyani and Naihati Stadium in Naihati.

RKFC owner Sandeep Chattoo admitted that some players from his team have tested positive, though he did not share how many and who.

“Yes, there are some positive cases in RKFC as well, players from all (six) teams (of COVID-19) are suspects,” he said.

“There was a round one test on December 21 and all my players were negative. These latest tests were done yesterday.”

All the players and officials will have to stay in quarantine for six days in their respective hotels after coming from there. He had to be tested twice during those six days.

As per the protocol set for the league, anyone who tests positive will be isolated on different floors of the hotel and will have to get three consecutive negative test results before joining teammates.

Dhar had earlier said that all players participating in the I-League will have to be fully vaccinated, except under-18 players and those who have recently recovered from the Kovid-19 infection.

Under-18 players and those who haven’t got their jobs because of their recent recovery from COVID-19 will have to undergo testing more often than players who have been vaccinated during the tournament.

“If fully vaccinated players are tested every 5-6 days, then they (under-18 players and recently recovered players) will be tested every 3-4 days,” he had said.

Last season’s I-League, in which 11 teams participated, was also held in a bio-secure environment in Kolkata and Kalyani, and then six COVID-19 cases were reported.

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