Kolkata: East Bengal and Mohun Bagan's stranded foreign players and coaches have reached New Delhi safely by bus from Kolkata and have checked in to a hotel near the airport, East Bengal's Spanish coach Mario Rivera said on Monday.
"Yes we have reached safely," Rivera told IANS from the national capital. "We have our flight at 3 a.m. tomorrow morning," added the Madrid-based Rivera.
The foreign players of the two heritage clubs, mostly Spaniards, took the bus ride on Sunday morning around 9:30 a.m. and checked in to ibis New Delhi Aerocity around 3 PM this afternoon, a source said.
Foreign recruits of the two clubs were stuck in Kolkata due to the nationwide lockdown to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Spanish Embassy is taking care of them at the moment and all of them will fly to Amsterdam, the Netherlands by a KLM KL 872 (special Dutch Airways flight) arranged by the Embassy of Netherlands. From Amsterdam, they will travel to their respective home towns.
East Bengal has five Spaniards -- four players (Jaime Santos, Juan Mera, Marcos de la Espada, Victor Perez) and coach Rivera, besides, Jhonny Acosta of Costa Rica and Senegal's Kassim Aidara, who are stuck in India.
Acosta and Aidara did not travel with the group now as the route is not convenient to them.
Mohun Bagan have Fran Morante, Fran Gonzalez, Joseba Beitia from Spain; Daniel Cyrus of Trinidad; Baba Diawara of Senegal and Komron Turunov of Tajikistan and coach Kibu Vicuna (who has now joined Kerala Blasters) who were also stranded in the City of Joy after the I-League was stalled with matches remaining due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
Mohun Bagan, who had won the league with four rounds to spare, were declared champions.