Shraishth Jain,
AIFF Media Team

NEW DELHI: With India under an unprecedented lockdown as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gokulam Kerala FC’s Zohib Islam Amiri talked about his fitness routine and celebrating the holy month of Ramzan away from his family, stating that it is ‘very hard but is something we have to face’.

“Usually, our entire family is together every Ramzan. For the one month, we stay together and then celebrate Eid together. Being away from family this time around is very hard but the situation is such that we have to face it – no one can help it,” Amiri told in a candid chat.

He stated that he wanted to return to his home in Canada but could not as flights were not available. However, the Afghan international prefers to look on the brighter side of things and stated that the ‘lockdown as brought everyone together’.

“Thanks to technology, all of us in our family are able to talk to each other a lot. We talk for hours and hours every day. I must say the lockdown has brought everyone together. Family members and friends you had lost touch with, you are now talking to them almost every day,” he smiled.

Talking about the importance of remaining fit, he continued: “With Ramzan going on, we can eat only once a day. However, as a professional, you have to stay healthy. I start training in the morning and it doesn’t matter whether you have a ground or not, we have to train and keep ourselves busy. We can do different types of exercises such as squats, push-ups, hamstring and core exercise indoors, in order to remain in shape.”

It has almost been a decade since Amiri made his first Hero I-League appearance and since then, he has gone on to play for a number of teams across India. In the 2019-20 season, he played for Kozhikode-based Gokulam Kerala FC, featuring in 12 matches for the Malabarians as they finished with 22 points in 15 matches.

Looking back at his side’s campaign, he stated the team had set high standards for themselves but could not achieve their objective of winning the title.

He said, “I feel that we had a good opportunity to win the league this season. The way we started was okay but we lost crucial points at home through the campaign. We had a team that aspired to win the championship. In that way, it is disappointing to not achieve our target.”