While the training camps for the Indian Arrows and the Indian U-16 boys have already resumed, the Indian women’s senior national team is all set to start their sessions in Goa from December 1 onwards. The sessions are being held for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown, and are being conducted in accordance with the guidelines issued by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). An exhaustive Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been prescribed by Indian senior national team doctor Shervin Sheriff, which covers in detail various requirements and protocols that are to be put in place in order to resume training after the pandemic.
“The guidelines have been formed using the best practices from various esteemed organisations. The base was formed using the protocols issued by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and we adjusted our SOP according to the requirements of football with the help of guidelines issued by FIFA and AFC,” Sheriff said in an official AIFF release. “Additionally, we have taken inputs from the guidelines followed by different leagues that had resumed initially, such as the German Bundesliga and the K-League in South Korea, along with other institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Australian Institute of Sport,” he added.
Sheriff also mentioned that a challenging aspect of preparing the SOP was anticipating the various circumstances that can arise, with COVID-19 posing threats never seen before. “We did not have any previous experience with such a situation or making such guidelines and had to think of and anticipate different circumstances that may take place. In that aspect, the FIFA and AFC guidelines along with those from various global leagues were very helpful,” he said.
According to the SOP, the resumption of the camp shall be in compliance with the guidelines laid down by the local authorities and training should take place in a staged fashion. The thermal screening will be conducted before each training session and weekly check-ups and monitoring are mandatory. All areas within the training and accommodation premises shall be disinfected at regular intervals.