Sunil Chhteri Opens Up on Life in a Bio-Bubble, Welcomes Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in ISL
Sunil Chhteri (Photo Credit: BFC)
The 2020-21 ISL season will take place entirely in Goa, with matches being played behind closed doors at three venues - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda; GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim; and Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco.
As the ISL near and the 11 teams - ATK Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, Hyderabad FC, Jamshedpur FC, Kerala Blasters, Mumbai City FC, NorthEast United FC, Odisha FC, SC East Bengal - beginning their pre-season preparations with quarantine protocols dictating schedules.
Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhteri weighed in on life in the bio-bubble.
“To be honest, it is almost two weeks for us in the bio bubble here (in Goa) so I can tell you from my experience that it is not easy. At the same time it is not crazily difficult as well. But what we are getting in return is that we are able to train as a team and also play in tournament when people are fighting for basic fundamental amenities in the country,” Chhetri was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express, during an online interaction .
“Although five months of staying in the bubble is not going to be any easy, but it is what it is and if we want to play, this is what we got to do,” he said.
Sunil Chettri also spoke on the mental aspect of living in a bio-bubble and stressed on the importance of the support staff of the teams.
"The role of the support staff is huge. We have got the best support staff. The knowledge they possess about the rules and regulations and the way they are trying to help the boys is good to see. At the end of the day, we are all in this together and we all understand the issues that come in a bio bubble. Everyone is approachable in our staff, including from our boss (CEO) Mandar Tamhane to head coach, Carles Cuadrat and others. We are a close-knit, and I am proud of that. That might give us the edge. Under these circumstances, to be a team, a family, is going to be very pivotal," said Chhetri.
Chhetri said the inclusion of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal (as ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal respectively) will give ISL a boost in popularity.
"Mohun Bagan and East Bengal coming in is a huge thing. I have been in Indian football for 19 years. The clubs are monumental in stature. It is a huge thing for them to play in ISL. It will be very competitive with the addition of those two teams. It is a shame that their fans will not be there in the stadium. But I am sure that they will make themselves heard," Chettri was quoted by Goal.com.
"As far as home advantage is concerned I think this edition will be a level playing field for all teams. Goa might have an advantage but they are not going to have their fans. So again it will be a level playing field for all clubs. The coach has got all he wanted. The onus is now on us to remain fit and give him the whole squad to choose from. This year it is going to be more important than ever. We are going to need every one of them. We have to steer clear of injuries and if we do so we have a good chance," he said.