Mohammedan Sporting Club, who will be competing in the final round of the Second Division League, became the first Indian club to start training for the upcoming 2020-21 season on Friday at their club ground.
The Indian football season came to an abrupt end after the Indian Super League (ISL) season six final on March 14 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The I-League season was stopped and Mohun Bagan were crowned champions.
The group stages of the Second Division League too were stopped before completion and the top six teams were selected for the final round from the group tables. Unfortunately, FC Kerala had decided to withdraw from the competition.
The final round of the Second Division League is likely to start by the end of September. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had earlier confirmed West Bengal as the centralised venue for the competition.
The Black Panthers will be travelling to Kalyani on Tuesday for a pre-season camp. The team will reside in a resort close to the Kalyani Municipal Corporation Stadium where the team will conduct their pre-season training.
All training sessions will be conducted following the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) guidelines given by the West Bengal Sports Ministry and the AIFF. The club has also decided to install two sanitization tunnels in the Kalyani Sports Complex.
SOPs to be followed by Mohammedan Sporting:
1. Installation of Two sanitization tunnels in Kalyani Sports Complex
2. Closed-door practice sessions. No fan or media personnel allowed.
3. Daily sanitization drive of hotel corridor, common area, gym area.
4. All players and staff to be counselled about personal safety precautions.
5. Social distancing to be maintained in all common areas and mandatory wearing of masks.
6. Daily temperature monitoring of all players and staff.
7. Gym timings to be spread out to prevent overcrowding.
8. Club officials who wish to visit training camp must need a negative COVID report. Only 4 officials allowed per visit.
9. No officials will be allowed inside players rooms.
Mohammedan Sporting also unveiled their 34-member squad for the upcoming season. Other than retaining the services of a host of footballers from the last season, the club has also signed some big names like Willis Plaza, Eze Kingsley, Nepalese international forward Abhishek Rijal and former India U-17 skipper Anwar Ali. Former Punjab FC coach Yan Law has joined the club as their new head coach.