According to the JHU CSSE COVID-19 Data, on the 14th of September, which is just two days ago, the new infection in India was at 27,176 people. This is a big number of new infections with 31,434 people being infected on average every seven days in India. With these numbers in mind, the effects of Coronavirus have been felt across all sectors starting with businesses to health to sports. The Delta Plus Coronavirus variant is lethal and spreading even faster. Amidst this all, the Indian Super League is set to start on the 19th of November this year. The All-India Football Federation has set some tough guidelines for this league in compliance with the Covid-19 health guidelines. These guidelines will affect the ISL matches in a big way. These are some of the ways that the ISL will be affected by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
- Closed-door matches
One of the major motivations of football players is their fan turnout. Indians have been known to be turning out in large numbers to cheer their teams when playing whether it’s a derby, a local match, or even an international one. However, due to the current situation, the games will be played behind closed doors meaning that fans won’t be allowed to watch the games live in the stadium. This year’s match won’t see the 60,000 fans attend the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to watch a derby between Kerala Blasters face it off with Bengaluru FC. The matches however will be streamed live on various local TV stations. This will likely affect the player’s psyche and the adrenaline rush of seeing a packed stadium as they cheer them to scoring.
- Dormant transfers
With the 2021-22 ISL season begin soon, it saw dormant transfers. The transfer period is when teams try to supplement and add to their team’s strength by signing new players sin to their teams. Instead of this, the Corona Virus has seen teams trying to figure out a way to cut loose because of many football activities. There has been a dormant and low activity transfer period for this year’s ISL tournament.
Also, due to the absence of fans, ticket selling which is always a major way of making money for the teams won’t be happening. This is because the games will be played behind closed doors. This will affect the playing team’s budgeting. Fans are always a great source of revenue for all footballing activities.
- Subdued response from brands
Last year, the tournament bagged a cool Rs 110 crore from brand sponsorships and advertisements. This year, they are projecting to at least make Rs 70 crore because of the closed-door event. This is from the marketing and communication agency, Mogae Media. Sandeep Goyal, the chairman of Mogae said that the official sponsors, MotoCorp have only invested Rs 40 Crore as compared to last year’s Rs 50-60 Crore. Other brands like DHL have invested Rs 9 Crore, Apollo tires and Byju’s who are official partners have invested a range of Rs 4-5 Crore. This totals to about Rs 60 Crore that has been spent so far.
These are just some of the ways that ISL has been affected by the ongoing Coronavirus. However, you can still catch all the events on your local TV or Radio station, we will be updating you on the results of all the matches right here.