I-League: Spanish players, coaches wait for season to finish

Spanish players and coaches have remained in their apartments arranged by their respective I-League clubs with the season suspended due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Kibu Vicuna (centre) led Mohun Bagan to the I-League title this season.   -  Twitter/I-League

As the lockdown for coronavirus pandemic enters the final week in the country, a group of Spanish players and coaches are eagerly waiting to go home.

For the Mohun Bagan head coach Kibu Vicuna the charm of winning the I-League title with a record four rounds to spare turned a bit sour as he and his compatriots in the team had to stay back for the tournament to get over.

Same is the situation of the East Bengal’s Spanish coach Mario Rivera and his countrymen, who are now holed up in their respective apartments arranged by the club.

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With 23 matches still to be played and all the positions, except for the top spot, remaining undecided, the I-League will see a protracted season depending on the decision the national federation, AIFF, takes about completing the tournament. A lot depends on what steps the Indian government announces after the completion of the 21-day lockdown.

Till then the Spanish contingent will have to wait and endure the difficult times brought about by the pandemic.

Locked up in their apartments, Vicuna and Rivera have shared video messages with the media conveying the well-being of the players and their families back home. While the situation is much pleasant in their current location, what worries them the most is the spread of the virus back home in Spain.

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Much like way the Indian Under-17 women’s coach Thomas Dennerby and his Swedish compatriot and fitness coach Per Karlsson flew back home from Goa in a chartered flight arranged by the Swedish government (on April 1), the Spaniards in Kolkata also had an offer from their government.

But Vicuna and Rivera preferred to stay back and be with their respective clubs, which in turn have assured them tickets back home once the future of the I-League is decided.

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