Seven players and an assistant coach have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Indian Super League (ISL) football season, likely to start next month in Goa, sources told PTI on Monday. The tests were conducted in Goa after the arrival of the teams and all of them are asymptomatic cases. It could not, however, be ascertained which teams these players and the coach belong to. They have been kept in isolation in their respective hotels serving as bio-secure bubbles. Out of the 11 teams taking part this season, only newbies SC East Bengal are yet to arrive in Goa.
"Yes, seven players and an assistant coach have tested positive for COVID-19 and all of them are asymptomatic cases. They have been placed in isolation in their respective bio-secure bubbles," a source privy to the development told PTI on conditions of anonymity. It is mandatory for all the players and officials to have Aarogya Setu app and ISL Health App through which contact tracing can be done. So, there will also be contact tracing and we have to test those who have had contact with these players and coach."
He said all the eight will need to have three negative results in seven days to be able to join their respective teams. All the teams have been put up in separate hotels in Goa, which serve as bio-secure bubbles. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, this season's ISL, to be played among 11 teams, will be held behind closed doors under strict health safety protocols.
The matches will be held entirely in Goa at three venues -- Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Margao, GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim, and Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco. After their arrival, the players have been put under quarantine for 10 days during which five tests have been conducted. It was also mandatory for all the teams to undergo three tests prior to their arrival in Goa.