Injury-hit Kerala Blasters set to compete in the Super Cup with only five foreigners
Written by: Ali Shibil Roshan
The Kochi outfit's tumultuous season shows no signs of getting better, at least on the treatment table.
The inaugural edition of Hero Super Cup is scheduled to have its final rounds kick-off on March 31 as when Southerners' Chennaiyin FC take Aizawl at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. With the much-anticipated clash just a matter of time now, fans are hoping to see their team play the tournament resolving their woes, but the reverse is the situation of Kerala Blasters, Khel Now understands.
The David James coached side ended the tournament earlier this month as they were trounced by Bengaluru FC in their final fixture. However, the team was fortunate as they received direct-entry into the Super Cup, thanks to Mumbai City FC.
Nevertheless, Kerala Blasters' situation have become worse, as their foreign contingent is becoming weaker, and weaker as time passes. Now, Kerala Blasters' Ugandan sensation, Keziron Kizito, who was ruled out for the remainder of the season after picking up a shoulder injury against Jamshedpur, has returned back to his native country, Uganda, and is still nursing his injury, Khel Now learns.
Kizito has been one of the positives from the Blasters' performance this year
The Ugandan midfielder will return to the squad in the next season, sources revealed. It is also reliably understood that the player has concrete offers from multiple Spanish clubs, and from the Czech Republic. Nonetheless, the sources refused to reveal whether he'll make a move into Europe.
Elsewhere, Kerala Blasters' Icelandic attacker, Gudjon Baldvinsson, who joined the club from Stjarnan FC on a loan move which spans until the end of March, will also miss the Super Cup for Kerala Blasters. Akin to that of Kizito, Baldvinsson has also left the country and will rejoin Stjarnan FC at the end of March as to participate in Iceland's top-tier league, which starts in April.
Dimitar Berbatov failed to live up to the expectation while playing in the ISL this season
As earlier said, Berbatov, who severely criticized David James' strategies, will not return for the Southern outfit. The Bulgarian failed to establish himself in the squad and was used only just a backup option in the by David James later in the season.
Meanwhile, the Blasters' Canadian frontman Iain Hume is also caught up with injury and underwent a surgery recently. With Hume requiring adequate time to return to the squad, it's uncertain that whether the 34-year-old will play in the Super Cup or not.
Consolidating all the woes, the Blasters' overseas contingent are left with only five members- Paul Rachubka, Wes Brown, Nemanja Lakic-Pesic, Courage Pekuson and Victor Pulga at the moment. As according to Super Cup's rule, teams can field 5 foreign players at a time. This means Kerala Blasters' will be forced to play without 5 foreign players if anyone gets injured. However, the Kerala franchise is expected to be trying to avoid such feat with bringing in some replacements for their injured squad members.
Published: Tue Mar 13, 2018 05:51 PM IST