With a hectic international schedule ahead for the Bangladesh national football team in coming months, the Bangladesh Football Federation seems to be a little concerned about preparations as the national coach Lodewijk de Kruif has been out of the country.
The national team will play its third World Cup qualifying match against reigning Asian champions Australia on September 3 in Perth before facing the Asian giants Jordan five days later at home.
The team will play two away matches against Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on October 13 and November 12 before hosting Australia on November 17 in Dhaka.
In the mean time, the national team will also take part in a few FIFA friendly matches.
The 12th edition of the SAFF Championship is scheduled for December 23–January 2 in India.
With the SAFF Championship in sight, Bangladesh national team is expected to play several friendly matches, including a four-team invitational tournament in the Maldives, in the intervening period.
After the SAFF Championship, the team is expected to play Bangabandhu Gold Cup in the latter half of January next year.
With the gaggle of matches ahead, the federation is still uncertain about the return of the coach, who left Dhaka on June 20 after guiding the national team in its two home matches of the World Cup qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on June 11 and 16.
Kruif is now undergoing treatment in the Netherlands and the federation is unsure when he would return.
‘Kruif is now under treatment in the Netherlands. We are not sure when he will return,’ the federation’s general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag told reporters on Thursday.
‘Tabith [BFF vice-president Tabith Awal] will inform me shortly of his return.’
The national team’s assistant coach Saiful Bari Titu, who usually takes care of the national team in the absence of Kruif, however, is now busy with the Under-19 national team ahead of two regional tournaments.
The situation has left the federation with no one to follow the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League to pick new talents for the national team.
Moreover, the federation said it still does not have any plans to appoint a full-time coach for the national team.
‘Kruif’s current assignment will end on September 8,’ Shohag said.
Even though under Kruif’s guidance in the last two and a half years, the national team failed to show any significant improvement, the federation still has faith in the Dutchman.
‘Kruif now works with us on assignment basis after serving out his two-year contract in June 30. We hope to continue working with him till the Bangabandhu Gold Cup next year,’ Shohag added.
-With New Age input