The Bengaluru Football Club (BFC) on Wednesday said that three COVID-19 cases have been detected among its players and staff, after reaching Panaji in Goa for training on April 5. The team is currently preparing for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qualifiers (Preliminary Stage Two) match, slated for April 14. However, it is not yet clear whether the match will go on as per schedule. The BFC is expected to play against either the Nepal Army Club or Sri Lanka Police at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on April 14.
"Latest COVID-19 tests within the Blues' camp in Goa have shown three positive cases among players and staff. Bengaluru FC continues to take all the necessary precautions at the highest levels to stay safe, secure and healthy," the club informed on its Twitter handle.
UPDATE: Latest COVID-19 tests within the Bluesâ€™ camp in Goa have shown three positive cases among players and staff. Bengaluru FC continues to take all the necessary precautions at the highest levels to stay safe, secure and healthy.â€” Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) April 7, 2021
Earlier, BFC skipper and Indian football star Sunil Chettri had tested positive for COVID-19. The striker, however, has recovered. The 36-year-old was competing in the Indian Super League (ISL) held in Goa until February in a bio-secure bubble. His campaign came to an end when the BFC did not make it to the semi-finals. The team was placed seventh on the table at the end of the league stage. The former champions recorded 22 points after winning five matches, drawing seven and losing eight matches.
The BFC welcomed a new coach on board in February. Marco Pezzaiuoli was announced as the clubâ€™s Head Coach on a three-year performance-based contract, on February 11. He succeeded the Spanish coach Carles Cuadrat, who was let go in January after three successive losses in the 2020-21 Indian Super League season. Bengaluru FC lost against ATK Mohun Bagan, Jamshedpur and Mumbai City FC, leaving the club fifth in the points table after nine games.
The Bengaluru FC won its first ISL title in 2018-19 under Cuadrat, who was head coach of the team then. The football team holds the league record of most consecutive wins (six), unbeaten streak (11 games) and clean sheets (11), which were achieved under his guidance.