A huge spanner was thrown into FC Goa's preparations for their Indian Super League (ISL) clash with ATK on Wednesday after their flight to Kolkata on Tuesday was forced to crash land after developing technical issues.
The unwelcome development has left FC Goa with the prospect of reaching Kolkata only on Wednesday, the day of the game, a few hours before the scheduled kick-off.
The Gaurs had chartered a flight on Tuesday to reach Kolkata after they were unable to get all their technical staff and players on a single flight as the game was originally slated to be held on December 31st before the fixtures were rescheduled.
Moreover, coach Sergio Lobera also preferred to train on the eve of the match at Goa before taking an evening flight to the City of Joy.
However, what transpired was slightly alarming. After a couple of delays, the 40-member team boarded the flight from Dabolim airport in Goa. But, the journey ran into a snag not long after take off, with the flight developing technical troubles.
The team is expected to take another flight on Wednesday morning around 10 am now. The travel time to Kolkata is around 2 hours and 45 minutes, which means the team will only have a few hours to recuperate before the match.
According to ISL regulations, the team should report at the venue 90 minutes before kick-off, ie, at around 6:30 pm. The Gaurs will not be happy with the developments ahead of such an important game. More so as they were already not pleased with this particular fixture being postponed by three days.
“We had a plan in place sporting-wise and logistically as well, with regard to the flights and stay. Changes like this can hurt the final standings of the league table,” coach Lobera had said earlier.
It remains to be seen how Lobera and his team approach this setback.