Three footballers from Sikkim, who came to the city to take part in the Santosh Trophy, are down with swine flu. They were admitted to the Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital on Saturday.
The Indian Football Association is yet to hit the panic button, though six new cases, including the three footballers, were reported on Saturday. That took the toll to 42 in Bengal since the first case was reported on July 9.
Sikkim's Sagar Rai, Bikash Jairy and Sanjay Chhetri arrived here on July 19. The three, along with teammate and East Bengal midfielder Sanju Pradhan, were admitted to a private hospital on Thursday with fever. Pradhan did not test positive for the H1N1 virus and will be released on Monday, the team manager said. Rai, Jairy and Chhetri are quarantined.
In Saturday's matches, Assam and Kerala both registered their second consecutive wins in Cluster VII. After drubbing Himachal Pradesh 10-0 in the opening match, Assam blanked Uttarakhand 7-0.
Kerala had defeated Uttarakhand 3-1 in their first match and so their drubbing of Himachal Pradesh — which included a hattrick by Viva Kerala midfielder Javed OK — could not take them to the top of their cluster, where Assam sit pretty with a goal-difference of +17. Just a draw against Kerala in the final cluster match on Monday will help Assam secure a pre-quarter berth.
In Cluster VIII, Railways drubbed Orissa 4-0 for their second successive win and emerge group toppers. Mizoram recorded their first win when they pumped in 10 goals past Bihar. At Mohun Bagan, egged on by IM Vijayan from the stands, Kerala showed the urgency to score against minnows Himachal Pradesh. They knew the goal difference could determine the pre-quarter finalist from the cluster. It was a super show by Himachal Pradesh goalkeeper Simrat Singh Sahota that restricted the number of goals to 10.
IAF and Veteran Club post wins
Indian Air Force beat Rohini FC 9-0 in an A division match of the DLF-ONGC-SAIL Delhi Soccer Association Annual Clubs League Championship. Also, Veteran Club defeated Moonlight Club 3-0 while Ashoka Club won 3-2 over Buddhist Blue Stars.