Indian Super League (ISL) team Bengaluru FC player Erik Paartalu on Friday criticized the Australian government for their decision to ban all flights from India due to severe cases of coronavirus, hoping that the authorities would not implement the decision.
The Australian government banned aircraft from India affected by the pandemic from this week to 15 May, leaving many of its citizens stranded outside the country. Apart from Paartalu, it includes players like former cricketer Paul Reiffel.
Paartalu tweeted, “As an Australian living and working in India for four years, I have never felt so far away from Australia. I don’t know how you can prevent your citizens from coming back home, especially when there is a segregation facility in hotels.”
He said, “I have been in bio-bubble in India for the last seven months and it is a big loss for me and thousands of people who want to go back to Australia. Hopefully, the government will not succeed in what it wants to do.”
The thirty-year-old is part of the Bengaluru Football Club participating in the AFC (Confederation of Asian Football) Cup. Paartalu criticized the Australian government on Twitter, “I understand the level of infection here and the concerns about a new kind of possibility. But is the 14-day hotel not built for this purpose?”
Earlier on Thursday, Reiffel’s attempts to return home were unsuccessful as his country suspended air travel with India. Reiffel is playing the role of match officer in the Indian Premier League.
Paartalu plays the role of a midfielder in Bengaluru FC. Prior to coming to India, he has played professional football in South Korea, Qatar, Scotland, China, and Thailand apart from Australia.
Indian club Bengaluru FC’s AFC Champions League Cup play-off match has been rescheduled for May 11, which was initially postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic.