In an unfortunate turn of events, it has been reported that six players in the Indian Super League (ISL) have tested positive for COVID-19. While this may seem like a simple setback on the surface, it has thrown a wrench into the organisation and preparation for the start of the league on November 21st.
Due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the testing and quarantine procedures for teams have become quite strict, with the league administration requiring at least three tests to be done before rendering a player safe. So far, it has been reported that these six players are part of ATK Mohun Bagan, FC Goa and Hyderabad FC.
A source told Times of India:
"The players have been told to take every possible precaution, but sometimes its beyond the club's control. One player had tested positive when he had gone to the hospital for a test. He had conducted two previous tests, both negative, but the third one was positive."
Bengaluru FC appears to be the only other club (in addition to the aforementioned sides) to have carried out tests on their players and staff so far. Thankfully, they have not had to deal with any positive cases yet.
Jamshedpur FC, Chennaiyin FC, Mumbai City FC, Odisha FC and NorthEast United FC are yet to begin tests on their players.
ISL 2020-21: Pre-season preparations halted in the interim
The stringent testing protocols combined with the positive cases of COVID-19 have briefly halted the preparations for the pre-season of the Indian Super League. It had previously been reported that the pre-season would consist of two warm-up fixtures within the respective bio-bubbles before the start of the ISL.
"We are waiting for some clarity from the league (ISL) when we can start the preseason in Goa. The third test has to be timed in such a way that it needs to be done 48 hours before the player reaches Goa."Published 23 Sep 2020, 10:19 IST