FC Goa's head coach Juan Ferrando, foreign contingent leave India amid COVID spike

Already out of reckoning for a knock-out berth, FC Goa will seek its maiden win in the Champions League in its last Group E match against UAE's Al Wahda without head coach Juan Ferrando and its foreign contingent.

The team's foreign contingent includes Ferrando and conditioning coach Javi Gonzalez (both from Spain), Spaniard Edu Bedia (who is also the captain, Ivan Gonzalez and Jorge Ortiz and Australian James Donachie - who will all miss the side's final ACL fixture.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

FC Goa's head coach Juan Ferrando and his foreign staff have flown back home on Wednesday despite being in the middle of an AFC Champions League campaign owing to massive spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

"The club's foreign contingent have been advised to travel back home immediatly. This comes as a pre-emptive measure in view of recent policies being taken by European and other countries in regards to travellers from India as the nation battles the second wave of COVID-19 which has engulfed the country," the club said in a statement.

Already out of reckoning for a knock-out berth with three points from five matches so far, FC Goa will seek its maiden win in the Champions League in its last Group E match against UAE's Al Wahda on Thursday. Details on the lineup are awaited.

The team's foreign contingent includes Ferrando and conditioning coach Javi Gonzalez (both from Spain), Spaniard Edu Bedia (who is also the captain, Ivan Gonzalez and Jorge Ortiz and Australian James Donachie - who will all miss the side's final ACL fixture.

"While the AFC Champions League remains an important competition for FC Goa, the club management felt that the well being of the players to be its first and foremost responsibility. We will continue to ensure the same in the days to come," the statement added.

India recorded more than 3.79 Lakh new coronavirus cases and over 3600 deaths in the last 24 hours. This has pushed the total tally to over 18 million.

The crisis has also prompted calls to halt the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament, which is being played in a bio-secure bubble and without spectators.