After yet another season behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Super League’s final has received a shot in the arm, as fans will be allowed at the stadium. The final, which will see Kerala Blasters and Hyderabad FC square off at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa can be held with 100 per cent crowd attendance, it was announced.
The Goa government’s apex committee of experts on COVID-19, at a meeting, gave the green signal for 100 per cent use of the seating capacity at the stadium in view of improvement in the pandemic situation in the state.
This is a massive moment for fans as stadiums are opening up for fans after 2 years.
The committee, which has medical professionals as members, met in Goa Medical College and Hospital premises to discuss a proposal to allow the final match of the country’s top football league with 100 per cent capacity at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Fatorda in South Goa.
The decisive meeting was chaired by Dean of GMCH Dr Shivanand Bandekar, who said, that entry for a fan to the final would be restricted to those who have a negative test report for the virus or have been double vaccinated.
The ISL remember has not had the easiest season this year with January throwing up a huge challenge, as a third wave of the virus hit the country. There were more than a few positive cases despite all the players and those involved in the ISL staying in a bio-secure bubble in Goa.
In fact, midway through January, a few matches were cancelled and some more postponed, with the ISL clubs needing huddle together to find ways to tackle the difficult situation.
Kerala Blaster coach Ivan Vukomanovic had said that everybody was more concerned about rising cases of COVID-19, instead of the game.
“Well, it’s obviously not easy, seeing the circumstances not just for our club but so far I think nine clubs are in lockdown. Nobody is talking about football anymore because everyone is concerned. We have families here. So I just hope everybody stays safe. I have confidence in the ISL people. They have things under control. But of course, it’s not easy,” the coach said in January.