The All India Football Federation (AIFF) postponed six I-League 2021-22 next round matches scheduled on December 30 and 31 after several players and officials have tested positive for coronavirus in Kolkata on Wednesday. (More Football News)
The decision was taken in an emergency League Committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon. The meeting was chaired by senior vice-president Subrata Dutta which was also attended by AIFF secretary Kushal Das, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar and many others.
"Dr. Harsh Mahajan informed that there needs to be bare minimum contact among all for the next 5-7 days as studies indicate that both the Delta and Omicron variant can be passed onto other human bodies within the period," the AIFF statement said.
"Acting on the advice, the Committee hence, unanimously decided to postpone the I-League 2021-22 matches for the next round which were scheduled on December 30-31, 2021," the statement added.
It also stated that all the players, staff, and referees have already been tested on Wednesday following the outbreak and will be tested again on January 1 and 3 respectively. Following the result of the tests conducted which will come on January 4, the fate of the next round of the matches will be decided.
The matches that got postponed are Sreenidi Deccan FC vs TRAU, NEROCA FC vs Gokulam Kerala FC, Aizawl FC vs Mohammedan Sporting (all on December 30), Sudeva Delhi FC vs Indian Arrows, Real Kashmir FC vs Kenkre FC and Punjab FC vs Churchill Brothers (all on December 31).
The I-League organising committee tweeted on Wednesday confirming the positive cases. Sources confirmed to Outlook India, at least 11 persons associated with various teams have contracted the virus which includes five players and three officials of the Real Kashmir football team. But no official details have been released yet.
“There have some positive cases reported among certain #HeroILeague teams. The League is keeping a close tab on it and have already spoken to the clubs. In addition, an emergency meeting of the League Committee has also been summoned in the afternoon. Further details soon,” tweeted I-League.
There have some positive cases reported among certain #HeroILeague teams. The League is keeping a close tab on it and have already spoken to the clubs. In addition, an emergency meeting of the League Committee has also been summoned in the afternoon. Further details soon. pic.twitter.com/QZwfRppxDm— Hero I-League (@ILeagueOfficial) December 29, 2021
The teams are in a bio-bubble in four different Kolkata hotels. Yet an official each of Aizawl FC, Mohammedan Sporting and Srinidhi have contracted the coronavirus.
"All the players who have tested positive have already been moved to isolation with AIFF monitoring and arranging for subsequent regular medical consultations," AIFF said.
COVID and its new variant Omicron has been causing havoc across the world and several sports events have been hit. Last season, I-League staged a virus-free championship.