La Liga keen on lending a helping hand to India's Covid fight

"We (La Liga) are in talks with a couple of NGOs operating in India to bring some help. Just some humble help I should say," La Liga India's Managing Director said.

Published: 04th May 2021 08:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2021 08:54 PM   |  A+A-

People above 18 queue for vaccination

People aged above 18 queue at a vaccination center for Covid-19 in New Delhi. (File | PTI)

Express News Service

KOCHI: As India battles the deadly Covid second wave, help has been pouring in from various quarters and La Liga India is also planning to step in and offer their support.

"We (La Liga) are in talks with a couple of NGOs operating in India to bring some help. Just some humble help I should say. The problem is so huge that the best way is as many of us contribute in small ways. Many small ways make a big way of helping. We are in talks and actually in advanced talks with some of the NGOs," said Jose Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director of La Liga India, during a virtual interaction on Tuesday.

La Liga has a huge fanbase in India with many supporting clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona. The league is set for one of the tightest finishes in recent memory with four teams in contention for the title. The four teams who are in contention go head-to-head in the next round as league leaders Atletico Madrid go up against third-placed Barcelona while defending champions and second-placed Real Madrid meet fourth-placed Sevilla.

Jose believes that these blockbuster clashes could act as a distraction from the grim situation.

"It will be four great hours of football that will help us forget the madness that we are living through," he said.

Despite polarising opinions, for many, the Indian Premier League served a similar purpose. But after a few tested positive inside the bio-secure bubble, the IPL has been suspended temporarily.

Jose feels the Covid outbreak was too fierce even for the IPL to withstand.

"I think IPL was doing a great job because they are one of the best sports leagues worldwide. But basically, the situation was too strong to withstand even for IPL and it happened at the worst time possible in terms of the pandemic situation in India," he said.

While the senior men's football season in India had been successfully completed by March, there are question marks over the upcoming season especially when it comes to convincing foreign players to come and play in the ISL and I-League.

Jose feels the situation will improve and the season can proceed under a controlled environment.

"I am optimistic in the sense that sort of what India is suffering right now, Spain suffered it about one year ago. It won't last forever and the situation will improve. The ISL should be starting in September or October and so we should trust that by then the situation in India will be under control or improve at least. Look at what ISL did last season. They did a magnificent job conducting the whole competition in Goa quite successfully," he said.

Meanwhile, La Liga ambassador and former Sevilla striker Frédéric Kanouté also extended his solidarity to the people of India.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of India and it's even difficult to talk about football when we see what's happening. Hopefully if we stay strong and if the only positive thing I can say is that sometimes big trials and tribulations in life help to bring people together. And I think the people of India will come together in a stronger way regardless of their differences," said Kanoute.


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