Star India defender Sandesh Jhingan on Saturday said although it is not an ideal situation, he won’t have a problem playing behind closed doors if need be when the Indian football season resumes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the world come to a standstill. All sports activity came to a grinding halt across the world and only recently the German Bundesliga restarted its league behind closed doors.
The Indian football season is over with the Indian Super League (ISL) final being played in front of empty stands in March. The I-League had to be called off with matches remaining due to the health crisis.
“There are two sides of it. Yes fans being there makes it great. It makes football more exciting. But it’s my job also. The club asks me to play (behind closed doors) and If I say there are no fans I won’t play…you always do your job the best way you can regardless of the audience,” Jhingan said during a Facebook Live session on All India Football Federation’s official page, TheIndianFootballTeam.
“If you’re a musician…you go to a place and there is nobody listening to you…still you will give your best. For me, it’s not an ideal situation..but for the safety of those people who will later come and watch us when everything gets back to normal..if I have to played behind closed doors I will still do the job the way I do. I don’t think it will affect me and I will still do my job as a professional,” said Jhingan who recently parted ways with Kerala Blasters.
“It has been my second home, my family. The people of Kerala will always be dear to my heart. They helped me grow. I joined the team when I was 21,” said the centre-back of his ISL side where he spent six seasons, helping them reach the ISL final in the first season. The Chandigarh-born 26-year-old made 76 appearances for the club, even as the team around him underwent drastic changes.
Jhingan also said in the next decade or so there will be more Indian players playing in Europe.
“In next 10-15 years, you will see lot more Indian players playing in Europe,” he added.