An average of 200-250 tests are being conducted everyday in hotels that are hosting I-League teams, according to the league’s CEO Sunando Dhar. Dhar further said that the total number of tests that could be done throughout the 2020/21 season could be in excess of 12,000.
The 2020/21 season of the I-League is set to be played across four bio-secure venues in West Bengal — the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, the Mohun Bagan Ground, and the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, and the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani.
“On an average, we are conducting about 200-250 tests everyday and the total number of tests could cross 12,000 by the end of the season. There have been very few positive tests, mostly among the officials and some players,” said Dhar in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“In each hotel, there is a floor that is blocked for isolation. It is an option for the team whether they want to stay in the hotel or shift to some other hotel. Subsequent tests and re-tests are done, once we have three negative tests, they are allowed to get back in the bubble,” Dhar said.
The league starts on January 9 and the first stage of the tournament will be played until February 24 after which the teams will play in two groups based on their standings. Dhar said that separate rooms have been allotted in the hotels for players to unwind and the league is also planning outings for the teams as the season progresses, based on what the situation will be at the time.
“The teams were asked to bring their PlayStations or Xboxes or whatever. We have got a separate room in the hotel which is available round the clock. They just need to book their time and can do whatever they want there. We understand it is difficult to stay confined within four walls for nearly 100 days. We have some plans to have to may take them out after taking the necessary precautions. It all depends on the ground realities, we understand psychologically it is a big thing for them to stay indoors and we are doing whatever we can,” said Dhar.