Is the Indian Super League in jeopardy due to rising Covid-19 cases?

The past few days saw six players, a coaching staff member and a match commissioner contract the coronavirus, leading to growing concern about the safety of the ISL tournament.
Is the Indian Super League in jeopardy due to rising Covid-19 cases?

Is the Indian Super League in jeopardy due to rising Covid-19 cases?

Twitter/ ISl

A grey cloud hovers over the second phase of the Indian Super League as it kicked off on Monday. The past few days saw six players, a coaching staff member and a match commissioner contract the coronavirus, leading to growing concern about the safety of the tournament.

According to TOI, in the last 48 hours, three ATK Mohun Bagan players tested positive for the virus, while three FC Goa players and a member of the coaching staff were previously sent into isolation after their reports came out positive.

On Sunday, FC Goa, fearing another breach in their bio-bubble, cancelled their training session. However, the RTPCR report of the player who was feared to be positive yielded negative.

According to TOI, a match commissioner had also tested positive but according to sources, he didn't come in contact with anyone inside the bio-bubble.

“The cases have largely emerged after new players and support staff joined (teams) this month,” a source who has tracked the development told TOI. “For the last four days, testing has increased with players being tested every day and those teams with suspect cases being tested every 12 hours."

Due to the rising cases, the league organisers had to tweak the rules to safeguard the health of the players, coaching staff and organising committee. FSDL CEO Martin Bain said in an email to all the clubs that if 15 players are not available for a match, the league will "try and reschedule" the match at a later date.

If rescheduling the match is not an option, the other team will be awarded the win with 3-0 goal margin. If both the teams have players unavailable, it will be considered a goalless draw and a point will be awarded to both the teams.

An official told TOI, "Besides the testing, the League has made it mandatory for players and officials to wear N95 masks at all times, even when they are seated on the bench. They can only remove the masks when they are doing warmups."

The latest guidelines have already started hindering with the teams' gameplans. FC Goa missed four days of training sessions before their encounter with Chennaiyin FC last week but managed to gather three points in a 1-0 victory.

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