FC Goa coach, other foreign staff leave India before final ACL match

Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Goa said on Thursday that they have allowed their foreign staffers, including head coach Juan Ferrando, to leave India ahead of their last AFC Champions League (ACL) match against Abu Dhabi-based club Al Wahda, to be played in Margao on Thursday night.

The club termed the move as a pre-emptive measure in view of the restrictions that many countries are imposing on travel from India due to the raging Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

“FC Goa would like to inform that the club’s foreign contingent, including the head coach and foreign staff, has been advised to travel back home immediately. This comes as a pre-emptive measure in view of the recent policies being taken by European and other countries with regard to travellers from India as the nation battles the second wave of Covid-19 which has engulfed the country,” the club said in a statement.

FC Goa are scheduled to face Al Wahda on Thursday. They have so far drawn three games and lost one, which means they are out of contention to make it to the playoffs in what is their first appearance in the AFC Champions League.

Goa also became the first Indian club to play in the group stage of Asia’s premier club football competition.

“While the AFC Champions League remains an important competition for FC Goa, the club management felt that the well-being of the players is its first and foremost responsibility. We will continue to ensure the same in the days to come,” the statement said.