With the seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) set to be played entirely in Goa due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, clubs have landed in Goa to begin their pre-season preparations. All the ISL teams except new entrants East Bengal have been designated training grounds by the league and are expected to begin training by the end of next week.
East Bengal is the eleventh team to join the top-flight competition, but the centenary-club has had their pre-season proceedings delayed due to the formalities regarding the transfer of ownership.
Four ISL sides namely FC Goa, Bengaluru FC, Hyderabad FC, and Kerala Blasters have officially announced that their players have started on-field training.
While getting the Indian contingent to Goa was not an issue, foreign players and coaches have had to wait for visa approvals, which has been made difficult due to the ongoing pandemic.
Hyderabad FC, who were one of the first ISL teams to start training, did so under the guidance of their technical director Thangboi Singto. Their head coach Manuel Roca has already reached Goa along with a small batch of players including Joel Chianese and Aridane Santana.
ATK Mohun Bagan gaffer Antonio Habas was the first ISL head coach to arrive in Goa, followed by Jamshedpur's Owen Coyle and NorthEast United's Gerard Nus. Kerala Blasters head coach Kibu Vicuna and his fellow Spanish counterpart at Bengaluru FC Carles Cuadrat arrived on Saturday.
Mumbai City FC manager Sergio Lobera and FC Goa's Juan Ferrando are expected to reach Goa by Monday. While the arrival date of Chennaiyin FC's coaching staff is yet to be confirmed, Odisha FC's head coach Stuart Baxter has had his visa approved recently and is expected to board a plane to India soon.
Legendary Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, who was announced as the head coach of East Bengal, is not expected to arrive in India this week despite his squad arriving in Goa over the weekend. All foreigners are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine in Goa upon arrival.Published 12 Oct 2020, 18:42 IST