East Bengal and Mohun Bagan's stranded foreign players and coaches will finally get to go home after taking a long bus ride from here to New Delhi before leaving for Amsterdam, the Netherlands in the wee hours of Tuesday, a source privy to the development said.
Foreign recruits of the two heritage clubs have been stuck here due to the nationwide lockdown to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A total of 16 players and support staff (8 from each club) will go to Delhi tomorrow (Saturday) night on a bus. Everything has been arranged by the embassy and necessary permissions have been taken. It will be a 40-hour ride from here to Delhi. From there they will take a KLM (special Dutch Airways flight) arranged by the Embassy of Netherlands," the source told IANS on condition of anonymity.
East Bengal has five Spaniards — four players (Jaime Santos, Juan Mera, Marcos de la Espada, Victor Perez) and coach Mario Rivera, besides, Jhonny Acosta of Costa Rica and Senegal's Kassim Aidara, who are stuck in India.
It has been learnt that Acosta and Aidara will not travel with the group now as the route is not convenient to them.
Mohun Bagan have Fran Morante, Fran Gonzalez, Joseba Beitia from Spain; Daniel Cyrus of Trinidad; Baba Diawara of Senegal and Komron Turunov of Tajikistan and coach Kibu Vicuna (who has now joined Kerala Blasters) who are also stranded here after the I-League was stalled with matches remaining due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
Mohun Bagan, who had won the league with four rounds to spare, were declared champions.