The fourth edition of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup received a boost on Wednesday as FIFA formally authorised it as international Tier-1 tournament, officials said.
The authorisation came as five countries – Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka – formally declared that they will field their national teams in the tournament, said Abu Nayeem Shohag, the general secretary of Bangladesh Football Federation.
The other teams of the tournament are Bangladesh Under-23 team, Bahrain Under-23 team and a Malaysian club side under the guise of Malaysia XI.
Shohag said FIFA rules stipulate that if any tournament is to get the credit of Tier-1 there must be at least one match between the two national sides.
‘We got the Tier-1 status in the previous edition because Bangladesh and Sri Lanka fielded their national team. This time we have more national teams, so we were always confident,’ he said.
The BFF general secretary added that Before giving the tournament Tier-1 status, FIFA checked with all countries whether they are sending the national teams or not.
‘All five countries had to declare in a designated form that they are sending their national side,’ he said. ‘Now if they send their under-23 team under the banner of national side this should not be our problem.’
Earlier media reports from Nepal and Maldives suggested that they are sending only their Under-23 teams to the tournament.
Apart from ensuring of getting the Tier-1 status the BFF also claimed that they will take all necessary measures to keep all participating teams secure during the tournament.
Sheikh Mohammad Maruf Hasan, the deputy inspector general of police and chairman of the security and traffic management sub-committee of the tournament, said they made a total security plan for the tournament, which will be held in two different venues.
The first part of the tournament will be held in Jessore from January 8 to 11 where all eight participating clubs will play their opening matches while the second part will start in Dhaka from January 12.
The participating teams will be accommodated in six different hotels in two cities and they will also use six different practice venues.
Considering the clumsy schedule and busy movement of the teams, BFF engaged different law and order enforcement agencies.
‘We will provide security to all participating teams and officials in every occasion,’ Maruf, who is also an executive member of BFF, said in a press conference.
‘We have enough experience of hosting internationals matches. So I don’t think security will be an issue.’
-With New Age input