Live sporting action will be allowed to resume from September 21, 2020 in States and Union Territories, according to the latest coronavirus guidelines from the Ministry of Home Affairs under Unlock 4.0, it was announced on Saturday.
Sporting action has been shut since March, when a nationwide lockdown was imposed with coronavirus cases rising in the country. Under Unlock 1.0, targetted and limited practice was allowed in stadiums with strict regulations.
However, with the fear of coronavirus still very much prevalent and many states still struggling to control the rising number of the Covid-19 cases, sporting action has not resumed.
According to the latest guidelines, “Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from 21st September 2020. However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer."
Athletes have now begun to train individually at their nearest sporting centres while National Institute of Sports in Patiala (NIS) is also open for athletes to come and begin training. However, there has been travelling reservation among athletes and hence, not much has begun so far.
The Indian Super League (ISL) is expected to start its 2020-21 season in Goa in November while before that I-League second division is likely to take place in Bengaluru. So far, there are no plans to have fans in the stadium but after the fresh guidelines, authorities may give a thought to having a small gathering.
The I-League is also expected to start in Kolkata in December.
Swimming pools will still not be functional as the latest guideline state that “cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatres) and similar places" shall not be allowed.