I-League Qualifiers: meditation replaces ice-baths

Kolkata, Oct 3 (IANS) | Publish Date: 10/3/2020 1:05:04 PM IST

With a number of Covid-19 safety regulations in place for the teams set to participate in the upcoming I-League Qualifiers, a training session is no more the same, especially with regards to the recovery sessions.

The qualifiers are slated to kick-off on October 8 where five teams -- FC Bengaluru United, Bhawanipore FC, ARA FC, Garhwal FC and Mohammedan SC -- will play in a round-robin format and face each other once. Matches are slated to take place at the VYBK Stadium in Kolkata and Kalyani Stadium till October 19.

While some teams are looking at different nutrition strategies in order to help with the recovery process, others are also trying out different exercise routines to aid with the same. All the players and coaches are mandated to spend four days in isolation once they check into the Covid safety bubble. And now it has been three days since FC Bengaluru United resumed their training after the time spent in isolation.

Head coach Richard Hood has been charting different nutritional supplements to help the players recover from their training sessions.

“Ice-baths are a good way for the body to recover. But since that is not possible right now. So we are looking at other alternatives,” Hood told “But due to the safety precautions we are using different nutrition strategies to help the players recover from their training sessions. A cold shower also does some good.”

ARA FC from Gujarat were the first outstation team to arrive in Kolkata.

“Our physio has charted our different stretches to help the players with their recovery process. But nutrition plays a very big part when you cannot have ice baths after a training session,” said ARA FC head coach Vivek Nagul.

“Food makes a lot of difference in the recovery process. Additionally, we are also looking at different nutritional supplements and energy drinks as well,” he continued.

The medical staff has been working hard, especially in the ARA camp, charting out more ways to overcome the challenges thrown at everyone by the Covid-19 pandemic.

While sanitising is a strategy that is largely being used both inside and outside the world of football, Rai revealed that the players have been taking extra care ahead of the training sessions.

Nagul feels that though such restrictions are in place, it is the onus of the players and the officials to adhere to them in order to ensure that football can be played safely in India once again.

“This is the first sporting event in India after the lockdown, so we must be careful. We need to appreciate all the effort put in by the organisers. At the end of the day it feels good to see that there are people out there who are putting their own lives at risk to ensure that football is not being defeated by a disease,” said Nagul. “We appreciate these efforts by the organisers and are ready to adjust our ways in order to play football again.”


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