The Indian striker is currently at his home in Goa.

Hyderabad FC striker Robin Singh, who is on loan at I-League outfit Real Kashmir, has admitted that playing football without the fans in the stands will prove to be difficult for the players, but also expressed that he recognizes the importance of the move. Due to the pandemic, the 2019-20 ISL final had to be contested behind closed doors and it looks highly unlikely that supporters will be allowed to enter the stadiums whenever football resumes.

 “Football is a spectator sport. It’s going to be hard but if it protects the rest of the community – not just the footballing community, but everyone else in the country, then you have to do that,” the forward told the Hindustan Times.

He went on to add, “Yes, we miss them. But, I am sure, soon enough, we will be back with a full stadium. It just makes everyone happy to see their home fans supporting them and making noise every time you score goals.” 

With the lockdown being imposed nationwide to curb the spread of the virus, the athletes have used this enforced break as a chance to experiment as they try getting involved into different ventures, spend valuable time with their family whilst also maintaining their fitness. Similarly, the 30-year-old has also attempted to adopt different hobbies and tried adding new skills to his repertoire during the lockdown.

“I picked up yoga, and those kinds of things. It’s been ups and downs, but I’d rather be safe and I hope everyone is safe as well. I tried cooking, I got thrown out of the kitchen. We also watch a lot of home decor, DIYs, I am a very hands-on person so that I can learn a new skill. I have been learning carpentry to build new things. So, hopefully, I can build something soon,” he revealed.

During these uncertain and troubling times, athletes not only in this country but around the globe have stepped up to the plate, taking responsibility and contributing to the society through different means possible. Robin Singh too has found an innovative way to make an impact as he has teamed up with the Adidas’ Home Team Heroes Challenge, where the company donates 1 USD for everyone who trains for an hour using their equipment.

“We will try and contribute up to 1 million USD. This initiative helps me to work out and play a part a role in the cause. At the same time, it is also a show of gratitude to everyone in the country who has been a part of this fight,” Robin remarked.

The Indian striker is itching to get back on the field and hopes that the tiny efforts taken by everyone in the Indian Football community will ultimately result in the next season starting as planned and without any delays. “I am still that kid who just loves playing football with friends. It breaks my heart I could not do that. But we have to look at the larger picture. The pre-season training begins in about a couple of months for Indian football fraternity and we are doing our bit to ensure that it does resume when it is supposed to resume.”

According to the new stringent rules applied in the Bundesliga, the players are advised against hugging or indulging in group celebrations goals after scoring a goal. These restrictions are put in place to help the players to practice social distancing. When the football does restart in India, Robin Singh is hoping that he will be able to celebrate goals in the usual manner with his teammates.

The 30-year-old stated, “Two months is a lot and not a lot of time for the medical industry to come up with the vaccines. When you score goals, it’s a happy moment, because it’s a moment to celebrate with your teammates. Goals make your team win. I hope that the situation improves so that we can adapt and celebrate goals like we always have.”

 Alongside the abovementioned changes, there have also been suggestions for a few other alterations in the game with reducing contact in the sport one of them. Robin Singh isn’t a huge fan of the idea as he cherishes the physical battle on the field.  

“I never want football to be a non-contact sport. My whole love with the sport came because of how physical, intense and raw the sport is. It gives me an adrenaline rush. I’d always want football to be a physical support. We have to keep our fingers crossed. The coronavirus has not only affected the sporting community, but also everyone across the world. We got to make sure to fight it together,” he concluded.

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