Only two teams out of six overseas participating countries will send their full-fledged national side in the forthcoming Bangabandhu Gold Cup International tournament, scheduled to be held from January 8 to 20. Earlier, Bangladesh Football Federation claimed that at least four participating countries will send their senior national teams but except Sri Lanka and Cambodia the other countries decided to send their age-level and club teams.
Defending champions Malaysia will send a club team FELDA United FC who will play as Malaysian XI while Bahrain confirmed to send their Under-23 team.
The media reports of respective countries ensured that Nepal and Maldives will send their Under-23 national team considering the next month’s South Asian Games.
Both the countries formed their teams without their senior players for the Bangladesh tournament to provide their youngsters some opportunity to practice for the SA
Games, where only Under-23 players are allowed to play.
BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag,
however, is still claiming that Nepal and Maldives will send their senior
‘Both Nepal and Maldives confirmed that they will send their senior teams,’ said Shohag.
‘Malaysia will send a mixed team where most of the players came from a Super League outfit named FELDA United FC while Bahrain will send their Olympic team.’
Though BFF has yet to get the approval of tier-A tournament from FIFA, they believed that a good number of matches will get FIFA International tier-A status.
In the last edition only one match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka got the tier-A status.
FIFA considers only the matches that are played between two national sides for its ranking.
‘We wrote to FIFA and AFC for tier-A approval but FIFA is yet to response,’ Shohag said adding that, ‘After getting the approval we can say how many matches will get tier-A status.’
Sri Lanka national team, who will play the opening match against hosts Bangladesh on January 8 in Jessore, will arrive here in Dhaka today at 11:30am before flying out for Jessore on the same day.
Malaysia and Nepal will arrive on Thursday
while Bahrain will arrive on January 8, day before Cambodia and Maldives’ arrival.
First four matches of the 15-match tournament will take place at the Shamsul Huda Stadium in
Jessore from January
8 to 11 following Dhaka part that will start from January 12.
The final of the tournament will be held on January 20 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
-With New Age input