Govt-19 is wreaking havoc in India and completely destroying the country. Until last February the situation seemed to be under control, In recent weeks the situation has erupted again with the arrival of the second wave. Meaning, there is a shortage of resources, people are dying in rows in hospitals, without beds, with cremations full of the dead, and even a new mutation.
All of this has caught up with Spanish coach Juan Fernando in the state of Goa (Barcelona, 1981), which He had to lead his team last Thursday, on the last day of the group stage of the AFC Champions League, the football club of the Indian Super League, Goa. The first team to play in the country, against Al-Wahda in the United Arab Emirates. A bubble was created there, so they could not leave the hotels, however He was expelled this Wednesday He leaves for Spain from a pre-match press conference With his physical coach and other Spanish players on the team. Fernando tells AS that he has been in a frenzy for 48 hours and how he saw the epidemic situation in the country.
Where are you currently on the return trip? How was your last 48 hours?
I was in Paris and we were waiting to come to Barcelona (Thursday afternoon, when the interview took place). In principle, the idea is to spend a few days today (yesterday) arranging the last day of the Champions League game and the next season, memories and so on. Yes, it was said that elections were going to be held on May 2 in Goa and then there could be isolation or lockout as cases are on the rise. Well, without further ado, after the game is over we will be going on a flight between April 30th and May 2nd, we are leaving. We take a taxi from the hotel to the press room, which is minibable from the hotel, where the soldiers and coaches are without contact with anyone to avoid infection. I take a taxi, which takes about an hour and a half to get to the field. I move normally with the press officer, I arrive at 12 noon, the press conference starts, and ten minutes later they tell me I have to go now.
Realizing that the situation was complicated, I arrived at the hotel at 1:00 pm, at 1:30 pm I took a taxi to the airport and the last flight departing from Goa at 2:00 pm. With the hair we were able to get to New Delhi, we waited until 1:15 am, with Spanish players Evan Gonzalez, Edu Pedia, Jorge Artes, Australian player (James Donachi) and body coach Javier Gonzalez. We were able to leave the country and we were saved in a short time.
When they tell you to leave, does anyone else from the club contact you?
The press officer tells me about it, and in those ten minutes when I pick up the stuff from the hotel I talk to the sports director, who explains the situation to me. The medical staff and coaching staff quickly said goodbye to the soldiers. We have no time to waste. The flight was at 2:00 in the afternoon and I had to take a taxi at 1:10. Imagine how you could pack an eight-month-old suitcase in eight minutes. Quickly pack your suitcase without knowing exactly what is going on. You know there is a very complicated situation, but it can be confusing if you are going to be locked up or not go out at that time.
In the end you played without …
Yes, there was only one day. I thought everything would be canceled because there was a ‘lock’ on everyone, even for al-Wahda, al-Rayyan and Persepolis. I understand that there must be some kind of record in the Champions League, which allows them to stay in the hotel until nightfall, and when they fly to their home country.
Our congratulations FCGoaOfficial Guys and technical staff before tonight’s match. Make sure we are proud of all of you, no one is going to evaluate your performance based on a game when you have already shown too much throughout a season. Start counting! 💪 #FCGoaInAsia pic.twitter.com/VdEopZHA0r
– Juan Ferrando (JuanFerrandoF) April 29, 2021
You were in Goa and have now come to travel to New Delhi, how would you describe the situation?
This is a confusing situation. We are lucky to be in a bubble and it will not directly affect you. They did PCR once every two days. But if you look at pictures or take a taxi to the airport and see the situation, imagine yourself in an epidemic situation if it is already a complicated city. They hope the government will find something to control the situation.
What pictures did you see? What affected you the most?
I saw on TV that people help their relatives because of the lack of oxygen. You are a little shocked that parents, children, women are trying to save their lives through those pictures. The media is like that, they teach you this, it affects you a little more. The city is in turmoil as hospitals are closed.
Imprisonment is over, restaurants and shopping malls are open, do you think the country is relaxed? Why do you think such a sudden and rapid change took place?
It may be, we have commented on it. There was a summer in November, December and January. But I do not know if it was due to that or really due to lack of control or if there was another strong wave like what happened in Spain or Europe. This is complicated. I understand if it happened it was because it was a relaxation but I can’t say for sure if it was summer because the restaurants were open.
There were never visitors in the fields. Athletes, coaches and those on the field have a lot of control over the league and the Champions League. There is a brutal control at the level of the Olympics. Despite such control, I fell and got it. If you have daily PCR, you have not been in contact with anyone and you are still suffering, imagine, if the activities are limited.
Do you think the protocol in your area worked?
It’s spectacular. In the end there are 12 teams with 25 players per team. 15 per training staff. Only five, six or ten infections have appeared at the maximum. Control is terrible. You may have come to a press conference, you have low immunity … it was an absolute success.
You are already signing up for April-May 2020 amid the epidemic for the campaign that has now ended. How was your visit to India?
It’s time for innovation and everything is very controlled when you go. You have a lot of PCR, controls, thermometer and so on. On the way back the same but now it is more technical, an application tells you what you did. I was isolated for 15 days when I left and was isolated separately. Everything was very controlled.
And what is the situation? Don’t you see it as more controlled or less confusing than it is now?
Low season when I come to Goa, not holidays. Then comes the competition, and I was isolated if they opened restaurants or places. It was in Spain, where restaurants opened and cases increased, and the same thing happened. When I went to India the situation in Spain was worse than in India. They will try to take quick action to make things as smooth as possible.
There, to play in the Super League, to create a bubble, a new decision was made. How would you describe the situation? How do you rate the experience? Because in the end they were isolated so they could not see the family, travel or do anything.
This is complicated. You live every day under the pressure of the decision you received. You train together every day, breakfast, lunch, dinner. They are not your family, but they will be less than 24 hours sleep or in your room. It gets harder because imagine the faces of those who are invited and those who are not. Then in training you have to give as much as you can and people get tired. You pass the days of the game. Injuries, stress, emotional situations. It was hard.
When it comes to games, there are three draws and two defeats in the Champions League. It could not be accomplished, but participation in the tournament is already of historical significance to football in the country. What impression does it leave you with?
The goal, as the Indian team participated for the first time, was like a dream to get a point. It’s true that I have competitors who want to do something, but we’ve gone as far as we can. It was so hard, we know that Persepolis was classified first, between the second al-Wahda and al-Rayyan, and we fought against it. It has spent what we have, but we are happy with the work they have done.
You all finished the Super League. You haven’t won a league title or reached the final in the end, but still, are you happy this season?
We know that the strongest is ADK Mohan Bagan Mumbai, because they have high budgets. The first and second places were tough, and in the semifinals we fell on penalties. I appreciate the excellent work of the footballers, both locals and Spanish, who have helped them a lot and behaved like real professionals.
Finally, what’s next? Do you think you can return to India? Will you stay in Spain for a while?
Is difficult. First let’s see how the situation ends. The important thing is health, the situation is under control not only in India but all over the world. Once that happens there will be time for football.
Who is Juan Fernando?
There was Juan Fernando Espanyol Football School Coordinator and Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie at Arsenal, Cultural y Deportiva went through Leonesa and Linares, in 2017 he moved to Greece, where Volos took control of the NFC, played in three of them and in two seasons he was able to climb into the Greek Super League.
In December 2019 he had a bacterial infection This caused him to lose his sight and have to quit football to recover. But still He signed to FC Goa in early 2020, He could not win a strange Super League. It played The bubble system is the only place in the tourist city of Goa, Each team is concentrated in a hotel unable to walk down the street. Without fans and with compressed table.
Too much The fact that no Hindu organization has a chance to compete in the AFC Champions League has gone down in history Since its re-establishment in 2002. In his debut he received a credible draw (0-0) Laurent Blanc against Al Ryan. Persepolis (Iran), Al Rayyan (Qatar) and Al Wahda (United Arab Emirates) were also measured.
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