Stranded in Srinagar for over a month due to the coronavirus-forced national lockdown, Real Kashmir's head coach David Robertson and his family will return to Scotland on Thursday, ending an anxious wait to attend to his sick mother.
Robertson, his wife Kim, son Mason, who plays for the club, and three support staff reached Jammu on Wednesday by an official club bus which left Srinagar early in the morning. They will fly back home in a British Airways flight from Amritsar on Thursday afternoon.
With his mother undergoing chemotherapy in Aberdeen, Robertson and his family became anxious after international flights were suspended due to the lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The British High Commission gave them the permit yesterday and so they left Srinagar at 5am in our club bus which has reached Jammu at 1pm today,” Real Kashmir co-owner Sandeep Chattoo told PTI from Srinagar.
The six of them will go to Chattoo's residence in Jammu before proceeding to Amritsar in the evening in the same bus.
“It was my duty to look after them and they were in high spirits throughout as they have been staying in Srinagar for so long. But who does not want to go back home? I am in a way relieved that they will go back home and meet their near and dear ones,” he added.
Under Robertson, Real Kashmir won six games and collected 22 points from 15 matches this season. With five matches left to play, the All India Football Federation decided to wind up the I-League early due to the pandemic.
“We have chalked out our plans (for the future) and they will come back to Srinagar whenever the situation allows them,” Chattoo said.
Robertson, Kim, Mason and other foreign recruits have been staying in Chattoo’s hotel in Srinagar since the lockdown was enforced. Four other foreign players, all from Africa, including skipper Loveday Enyinnaya are still stuck in Chattoo’s hotel.
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