KOCHI: Spain is one of the worst affected countries due to the coronavirus outbreak. The country has over 9000 confirmed cases, death toll above 300 and is under an unprecedented lockdown. Among those who are confined to their homes is Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Fernando Santiago Varela’s wife and daughter. Varela, who is in Kozhikode right now stays in Castelldefels, which is about 25 km away from Barcelona. It’s the same place where Messi has quarantined himself at his mansion. Varela, who is originally from Mar del Plata in Argentina, has been based in Castelldefels for close to two decades.
“In my 17 years there, I have never seen anything like this. My whole family is well. They are following the government instructions and are safe. My daughter is not able to go to school, and my wife is not able to go to work. But everything is fine there. They are confined to the house, but they are aware of the situation,” said Varela.
He had last visited Spain after the Durand Cup, which was held in August last year, and is unsure about his next visit to the country. The coach added that he is in constant touch with his family members. As things stand, the I-League has been suspended till the end of March. Gokulam have four more matches left in the season and the new dates for those matches are yet to be decided.The club has called off training sessions for the time being. While Varela wants to inish the season strong, he is also concerned about the situation back in Spain.
“Probably the authorities reacted late. Let’s hope that the situation remains under control unlike Italy. We will pray that the situation improves and there aren’t more deaths, and that the people affected by the disease recover soon,” he said. Although far away from home, Varela feels that Kerala will be able to fight this pandemic. He, however, admitted that his family is worried about him.
“Everybody is worried in general. Last year, I was here during the Nipah outbreak. The authorities reacted quickly and a mayhem was avoided. I think that the situation is different this time but we must be cautious and follow the government advisory. In these situations, it is necessary to remain calm and follow the instructions of the medical and government authorities,” said Varela.