New Delhi: November 19: AIFF’s developmental team Indian Arrows is set to begin training for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown, with the camp set to begin on Friday in Bhubaneswar. 28 players have been selected for the first phase along with six officials, led by head coach Venkatesh Shanmugam.
A detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been prepared for the resumption of the team training, adhering to the guidelines laid down by the government.
Abhishek Yadav, Director National Teams, AIFF, stated that the team is ‘looking forward’ to return to the field and stressed that the safety of the players and staff is the ‘top priority’.
“We did our best with the online sessions during the lockdown and I am sure the players and coaching staff are looking forward to being back on the pitch. Of course, their safety and well-being is our top priority and we are taking all the necessary steps to make sure everything goes off smoothly,” Yadav was quoted as saying by www.the-aiff.com.
“We have formed our protocols after taking advice from our medical team, along with those laid down by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the State government,” he added.
The SOP, as prescribed by Indian senior national team doctor Shervin Sheriff, mandates that incoming players and support staff must get a Covid test (RT-PCR) done prior to their departure from their hometowns on Day minus 3 of travel so that they get the test result on Day minus 1. If RT-PCR test result comes negative, they can proceed to travel with necessary precautions.
After reaching Bhubaneswar, a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) has to be done and if the result is negative, they can proceed to their respective rooms for seven days of room quarantine. After successful quarantine without any signs or symptoms of Covid-19, they have to be tested for RT-PCR on Day 8 after arrival before joining the training.
According to the SOP, the resumption of the camp shall be in compliance with the guidelines laid down by the local authorities and it should take place in a staged fashion with an initial phase of small group (less than 10 persons) activities in a non-contact fashion while maintaining the social distancing, before moving on to a subsequent phase of large group (more than 10 persons) activities including full contact training/competition in sport. (IANS)