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FC Goa Head Coach, Foreign Contingent Depart from India Amid Covid-19 Crisis

Juan Ferrando (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Juan Ferrando (Photo Credit: Twitter)

FC Goa's head coach Juan Ferrando and the club's foreign staff and players left India as European and other countries put travel restrictions on India due to Covid-19 crisis.

FC Goa play their last AFC Champions League (ACL) match today (Thursday, April 29) but the club’s head coach Juan Ferrando, it’s foreign staff and players departed from India before the final game could be played. India is reeling under a severe second wave of coronavirus and due to the terrible situation, various countries are putting restrictions on travellers from the country. Keeping the same in mind, the club let its foreign contingent leave before they get stuck.

FC Goa play Al Wahda in their final AFC Champions League match as they stand third in the Group E points table with three points from five games. FC Goa have so far drawn three games and have lost their two matches against Iranian giants Persepolis. On Thursday, FC Goa will play with a purely Indian line-up and will hope to put some smile on a billion faces amid these grim times.

“FC Goa would like to inform that the club’s foreign contingent including the Head Coach and foreign staff have been advised to travel back home immediately. This comes as a pre-emptive measure in view of recent policies being taken by European and other countries in regards to travellers from India as the nation battles the second wave of COVID-19 which has engulfed the country.

“While the AFC Champions League remains an important competition for FC Goa, the club management felt that the well being of the players to be its first and foremost responsibility. We will continue to ensure the same in the days to come.

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“In a season like no other, we would like to thank all the players for their efforts this season. We wish everyone safe health," FC Goa said in its statement.

FC Goa’s players and staff have been in a bubble since before the start of the Indian Super League 2020-21 season in November. The Ferrando-coached side made the semi-finals and they were able to step out of the bubble for only a few days before they went back into it for the ACL. The team and the staff have been in a bio-bubble for seven months and the club’s president and owner Akshay Tandon thanked them all for their “sacrifice and service to the club".

“These players and staff have been in a bubble for 7 months. We are grateful beyond words for their sacrifice and their service to the club. Things are very bad in India and getting worse. Travel restrictions are being introduced everyday and keeping them here each day is a risk.

“They could have gotten stuck here for more time. Flights are overbooked and getting cancelled cause of newer travel curbs from India. Time to get behind our boys for the last match. I am sure they will give it their 100 per cent," he said on Twitter.

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