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I-League resumes on 3rd March 2022 after being suspended for six weeks due to COVID-19

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) stopped the I-League for at least six weeks after a new COVID-19 epidemic affected the participating teams inside the bio-bubble. After being momentarily halted, it resumes on March 3, 2022.

I-League Suspended for Six Weeks

Following the latest round of tests, the overall number of COVID-19 instances has risen to 45, prompting the AIFF to suspend the league for six weeks. Eight players and three officials tested positive for the virus. Real Kashmir FC had five players and three team officials, Mohammedan Sporting had one player, and debutants Sreenidi Deccan FC and Aizawl FC had all returned positive.

The AIFF said in a release: “The League Committee, abiding by the consensus of all participating clubs as per the suggestion of Dr. Harsh Mahajan (member of AIFF Sports Medical Committee) ratified the decision to postpone the ongoing Hero I-League 2021-22 for at least 6 weeks,”

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Once the teams have been tested negative, they can return to their original locations. This year’s I-League features thirteen teams participating in three venues: the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata, the Kalyani Stadium in Kalyani, and the Naihati Stadium in Naihati. The I-League season had only six matches left to play before it was stopped on December 26 and 27.

Players and officials who tested positive at team hotels and have been isolated will be treated and quarantined in Kolkata according to the health guidelines. After they have tested negative, they will be able to leave the bio-bubble.

The I-League was at risk due to a new round of COVID-19 cases. With COVID-19 instances on the rise across the country, especially in Kolkata and its outskirts, where the I-League is being hosted, the organizers had to face a difficult struggle in resuming the tournament.

League Resumes on 3rd March

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Thinking ahead to the relaunch and explaining why the competition was momentarily paused in January, Sunando Dhar, CEO (Leagues and Development), stated the challenge of staying in bio-bubble for lengthy periods of time forced the tournament to be halted.

Dhar said on Sunday: “It is not easy to stay in a bio bubble, physically and mentally. We understand the problems players face. The option was to have the league in a bio bubble or not have it at all. We conducted the previous edition of the I-League successfully but this year, due to the nature of the Omicron variant we had to take this decision.”

Dhar is optimistic that the vacation has allowed the players to re-energize. As part of the new precautionary measures, all teams were subjected to three tests before being placed in a seven-day strict quarantine, during which they were subjected to three further tests. The hotel and stadium workers are also put to the test regularly, and Mahajan has no reservations about being extra cautious this time.

Read: Top 5 clubs in Europe with the longest unbeaten streaks in 2022

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