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April 8, 2020

Pak goalie Saqib quarantined in Maldives

Sports

April 8, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan’s star goalkeeper Saqib Hanif is passing through the most difficult situation as he has been quarantined in the Maldives soon after he along with his team TC Sports Club reached Male the other day.

After playing an AFC Cup game for Maldives’ TC Sports Club against Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings on March 11 in Dhaka the team was returning to Maldives via Colombo. When they reached Colombo, Maldives’ government told them to live in quarantine before coming to Maldives. The Maldives government had also told TC Sports Club management that the players would go to their homes after having quarantined in Colombo. When the team spent its quarantine in Colombo a lockdown started and so Saqib and his teammates spent around 25 days in the Sri Lankan capital.

However the other day the team was sent to Maldives from Colombo through a cargo flight. Contrary to the Maldives government promise that the players would go homes after returning to Maldives the players were brought to a resort for quarantine when it landed in Maldives after the team management debated the matter with the government for around five hours at the Male Airport.

Saqib told The News from his room where he has been quarantine in Maldives that he is fine. “We have been quarantined in Maldives. The Furaveri Resort Maldives is fine but I don’t know where are my other teammates as every player has been kept in a single room,” Saqib told The News from Maldives on Tuesday. “There is no WiFi. We even cannot go to the balcony. We are served fine meal but it is kept outside room,” Saqib said.

“The fate of the AFC Cup is unknown. We had also to play FA Cup and President Cup in Maldives but because of the issue everything has been disturbed. After spending two weeks in quarantine my top priority would be to return to Pakistan,” Saqib said.

Saqib has been the only player of Pakistan who has been playing league abroad. Saqib said that Maldives league has already been completed, adding his club has finished third.

Saqib is not the only Pakistani player who has been stuck abroad because of the coronavirus issue. Pakistan’s two top volleyballers including captain Aimal Khan and middle blocker Mohammad Waseem have been stranded in Thailand. Aimal is in Korat while Waseem is in Bangkok. Both were playing in Thailand League. On Monday Aimal told The News that Pakistan’s embassy is trying to arrange a flight for all those Pakistanis who have been stuck in Thailand. He said that the embassy is preparing a list and hopefully soon they would return to Pakistan.