The Indian football season is set to kick off from October 8 with the I-League qualifiers after a hiatus of more than six months. The Coronavirus pandemic forced all sporting activities to stop in mid-March and football was no exception.
With football set to restart the AIFF (All India Football Federation) keeping no stone unturned in order to maintain a bio-bubble for the participating teams and officials.
Hence they have come up with a detailed SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) that the teams must follow during the course of the tournament.
In fact, even before the teams touch down in Kolkata, the entire squad, staff and officials must get tested for Covid-19 twice. The first test should have been done between 15th to 18th September followed by another one between 22nd to 23rd September. Only those who have tested 'negative' in both the tests reports will be allowed to enter the hotel.
Two players from Bhowanipore FC (Akash Mondal and Sudipta Malakar) have already been tested positive.
The last date to submit both test reports is 24th September.
Once the teams reach Kolkata, they will enter a 'bio-bubble'. Each team will be provided 15 rooms, starting from matchday minus 13 till the last matchday. In case a team requires extra room, it must be conveyed to the organisers at least a week before they reach the host city, i.e. 25th September.
Upon arrival, the teams will quarantine themselves for five days and will not be allowed to train.
Nobody belonging to the contingent will be allowed to go out of the bio-bubble during the entire duration of their stay except for training and matches. Gym sessions will be conducted using the facilities of the hotel.
The federation will get everyone tested at least four times during the competition. Transport and training grounds are to be sanitised as well after each session.
AIFF will also pay a travel subsidy of INR 2 Lakhs for the entire tournament to the outstation teams (Garhwal FC, ARA FC and Bengaluru United).
The inaugural match of the tournament is set to take place between Bhowanipore FC and Bengaluru United at the Salt Lake Stadium.