Sunil Chhetri tests positive for Covid-19, doubtful for friendlies | Football News

2021-03-12 04:19:38

BENGALURU: India football skipper Sunil Chhetri has tested positive for Covid-19, putting in doubt his trip to Dubai with the national team for two international friendlies.
According to sources, the India and Bengaluru FC skipper tested positive after coming out of the bio-bubble in Goa during the Indian Super League. “The squad came out of the ISL bubble in Goa on February 26. The first positive Covid-19 test result of Chhetri came 4-5 days back. Now a confirmatory test has returned the same result. Both the tests were conducted in Bengaluru,” they said.
“In a not-so-happy update, I’ve tested positive for Covid-19. In better news, I feel fine as I continue my recovery from the virus and should be back on a football pitch soon,” Chhetri posted on twitter on Thursday evening.

The skipper also conveyed the message to keep up the fight against the pandemic. “No better time to keep reminding everyone to continue taking all the safety precautions always,” he said.
According to experts, it is unlikely that Chhetri will recover in time to play in the two upcoming friendlies. First up is the match against Oman on March 25 followed by a clash against the hosts UAE on March 29.
As per the state government guidelines, Chhetri has to complete the mandatory quarantine of 14 days. Even if a person gets a negative result before that, the government mandates a strict 14-day quarantine.
“The skipper is currently asymptomatic. And once the result is negative, he still has to make full recovery and start training. It looks unlikely that the All India Football Federation will rush him back for the two friendlies,” sources added.
Even if Chhetri joins the team in Dubai, it remains to be seen what part he can play as he will not be able to regain full fitness. “But it will be an advantage for the team to have him in Dubai even if he doesn’t play. Even in the World Cup qualifier against Qatar in 2019 September he didn’t play due to fever but was with the team. And India drew that match goalless. So it will be ideal to have him around,” a football association official said.

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