Margao, Jan 15 (PTI) With a surge in COVID-19 cases inside the bio-bubble here, ATK Mohun Bagan’s Indian Super league match against Bengaluru FC was postponed, hours before their kickoff here on Saturday.
This was their second successive fixture to be postponed. It was only last Saturday that ATKMB’s match against Odisha FC had to be postponed after an unnamed player reported positive for COVID-19.
“Hero Indian Super League (ISL) announces the postponement of the match between ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC scheduled to be played on Saturday at PJN Stadium, Fatorda,” ATKMB said in a statement.
“Each match is assessed on a number of factors including the ability of the clubs to field a team; the severity of COVID-19 breakout at the club(s); and the ability of the club personnel to safely prepare for and play the match.” “The health and safety of all personnel in various “bubbles remains our priority, and the League & clubs will continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly,” the statement read.
As many as four ATKMB players in the bio-secure bubble here are reported to be positive as the Juan Ferrando-coached side were locked in their rooms for one week without a single training session.
Players of other teams including FC Goa, Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC also contracted the coronavirus, while SC East Bengal too isolated themselves after their hotel staff inside the bio bubble found positive.
Fifth-placed ATKMB have 15 points, five points shy of leaders Kerala Blasters with two matches in arrears for the Mariners. In a series of tweets, star Bengaluru player Sunil Chhetri spoke about the challengers of bubble life and reached out to fellow players for a chat in case they are feeling low.
“To any ISL player, across clubs, nationalities and experience – I’m up for a chat if you need one. We don’t have to talk football. Drop me a message if you feel like it, and we’ll make it happen. The season, table, wins and losses will take care of themselves when they have to,” he tweeted.
“Reach out when you need to share, lend an ear to someone who needs to speak. We’re all going through the same thing and I just thought it would be nice if we could pick each other up when we need to.
“Only if you’re in the bubble, will you know how hard and frustrating this is. You’re away from family for half a year, cooped up in a room, anything outdoors is a luxury, there’s no change in setting to help you shake off a bad result – I could go on.
“To get through this is not something you can train for. It has nothing to do with skill, talent or experience. This is up there on the list of sacrifices we’re making, to be able to play the game we love. It’s a battle we’re all fighting in our ways.” PTI TAP BS APA APA
source: PTI News