Tuesday, May 24, 2022

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, few players want ‘league to be suspended’: Follow LIVE Updates

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ISL Season 8 – Covid Grips Indian Super League: The Indian Super League is currently hit hard with rising COVID-19 cases and matches are getting postponed left-right & center. With Covid-19 cases increasing by the day, players are very fearful & want that league should be suspended.Follow all the ISL Season 8 LIVE Updates only on InsideSport.IN

“It’s getting scary now. We want the league to be suspended. This is not football anymore, this is about safety of everyone”, said one of the top player on condition of anonymity.

“Players are losing interest and the desire to continue to compete,” Goa captain Edu Bedia said in a post on social media

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, few players want ‘league to be suspended’: Follow LIVE Updates

Why the players want LEAGUE to be SUSPENDED?

  • In the last three days, three games have been rescheduled with well over 35 players testing positive for the virus.
  • Eight of the 11 clubs have been forced to stay indoors after discovering positive Covid-19 cases inside their camps.
  • Some of the teams have not trained for the entire week.
  • ATK Mohun Bagan, FC Goa and SC East Bengal alone accounted for 37 cases according to various media reports.
  • The total positive cases as per few estimates is above 60 at this stage.

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, few players want ‘league to be suspended’: Follow LIVE Updates

 

So why FSDL is not postponing or suspending the league?  The organizers of ISL, Football Sport Development Limited (FSDL) has been postponing matches but is adamant to continue the league for now.

Schedule Congestion –

While there are a lot of talk of the league going on a break to get the players out of isolation in due time. But FSDL and the All India Football Federation have their hands tied with the Indian national team’s preparation for the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. India are all set to feature against Belarus and Bahrain in March once the ISL ends. So taking a break will only create a major logjam of fixtures for the Indian teams.

 

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, few players want ‘league to be suspended’: Follow LIVE Updates

On top of that, there is the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup. Both the continental tournaments will involve Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan. While ATK Mohun Bagan’s participation is subject to qualification, Mumbai City FC are clubbed in Group B along with three times UAE Pro League winner AL Jazira, six times Saudi Pro League champion Al Shabab and Iraqi outfit Air Force Club. The group stages will be held in a centralised venue and will begin in April.

ISL Season 8: Jamshedpur FC’s Greg Stewart opens up on life in bio bubble, his wonder goal and much more, Check out

Mental Health of the Players/Staff

Apart from the logjam of fixtures, the organizers are also considering several other factors. Starting from player fitness to their mental health as they have been living in the bio bubble for months. On top of that, they are currently isolated and are confined in their hotel rooms. All of this has taken a major toll on the players as they express themselves on Twitter.

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, should the league go on a hiatus?

Recently Bengaluru FC and Indian national team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu shared how hard it has been for him to go without training for almost a week. The custodian is isolating as Bengaluru FC is one of the teams hit by COVID-19 cases in their camp.

“It’s been close to a week now that we haven’t trained, and while the isolating is frustrating (but necessary), the anticipation and anxiety of not knowing when we can train or play a game is an even bigger monster to deal with,” Gurpreet tweeted.

He shared how isolation and the bio bubble takes a major toll on a person’s mind as they often look to cut off communication from everyone in frustration. While going out is not an option the Indian international found joy in training sessions and also in matches, something that has been put to hold recently.

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, should the league go on a hiatus?

A couple of days ago, India’s talisman Sunil Chhetri also reiterated the same facts surrounding isolation and the current condition that the league is going through. The Indian captain takes a stand and lends an ear to the players and staff living in the same bio bubble. He points out how living in a bubble in tough in their own ways and how everything outside is a luxury for the players.

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, should the league go on a hiatus?

“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, ” Chhetri tweeted.

He acknowledges how everyone in this bubble are fighting their own battle and it is not anything that they can overcome with skill or any other attribute.

“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,” he added.

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, should the league go on a hiatus?

Lastly, he encourages more players in the bubble to open up as was ready to lend his ears to anyone who needs a breather. he also encourages them to take a break from everything that’s going around. “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,” the 37-year-old signed off.

Several players replied to the Indian captain agreeing to the hardships. Starting from Victor Mongil, Lukasz Gikiewicz to Joel Chianese and Prabshukan Singh Gill, its the same story in every camp.

ISL Season 8: Match between Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC rescheduled due to safety reasons

Recently in the pre-match press conference of the game between Jamshedpur FC and Hyderabad FC, Jamshedpur head coach Owen Coyle also shared his concern regarding his players as they have not hit the training ground for six days are isolating as a precautionary measure. Although the game was rescheduled the concern of the Scottish tactician was genuine.

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, should the league go on a hiatus?

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, should the league go on a hiatus?
ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, should the league go on a hiatus?

“None of us have trained for the past six days, stated Coyle at the press conference. “Obviously, because of precautionary measures taken with respect to covid, we have not been allowed onto the training field. So, my worry will always be players and their welfare in terms of injuries, that’s a huge concern for me. When you train, you are in good condition to play the game and is important to avoid injuries.”

The Scotsman narrates how after the SC East Bengal game they had a 1-2 people with high temperature as a precautionary measure they decided to isolate and since then they have not tained again. “After the East Bengal match, the following day we did our recovery session together and the next day was a day off. On the day off, we had one or two high temperatures. With that in mind as a club we put ourselves into quarantine as a precaution and that meant we haven’t trained for six days. That being said, we have to make sure if and when the game comes about we are at our very best and give everything we have to win a tough game,” Coyle explained.

ISL Season 8: Covid-19 completely grips Indian Super League, should the league go on a hiatus?

The ISL organizers recently conducted a meeting with all the CEOS of respective clubs and there nothing concrete about suspending the league came to notice. They did delve into the topic but ultimately decided to check the situation individually for each game. But th with the rising cases and the piling rescheduled matches, there are questions rising over ISL’s future and the organizers at a certain point of time need to come up with a decision.

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