It's been a long time now and finally, there is some good news for Real Kashmir FC’s Scottish coach David Robertson. The coach, his wife Kym, footballer son Mason and three other British nationals -- Midfielder Kallum Higginbotham and two members of the support staff (James Lindsay and Jonathan Criag) -- may leave for the UK next week if everything goes according to plan.
Apart from the six British nationals, four African players — Aaron Katebe (Zambia), Loveday Okechukwu (Nigeria), Bazie Armand and Gnohore Krizo (both Ivory Coast) — remain stranded in Srinagar since the lockdown in India was imposed on March 25.
The British High Commission on Saturday tweeted that it would be organising chartered flights from a host of cities in India.
“The UK is now running charter flights from: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai & Trivandrum. Don’t delay – if you want to return to UK, book now,” the tweet said on Saturday.
Amritsar is the nearest airport from Srinagar and according to the travel advisory, flights would leave from Amritsar on Monday (April 13), April 17 and 19.
“The British High Commission had contacted David on Wednesday and then sent an email. If everything falls in place, he and the rest of the British nationals would be leaving next week,” Real Kashmir co-owner Sandeep Chattoo told The Telegraph on Saturday. According to Chattoo, the first task would be to get the transit permit.
“The high commission has said it would be arranging the permits. Let’s see. Now that the lockdown looks set to be extended and here in Kashmir even inter-district travel restrictions have been imposed, I would not be that bullish,” Chattoo added.
Robertson was desperate to fly back to his native in Aberdeen in Scotland to look after his ailing parents, Leslie and Muriel.