Bangabandhu National Stadium and Fatullah stadium got a pass mark from the visiting Argentine inspection team as the match and practice venues respectively for the September 6 international friendly between Argentina and Nigeria.
A three-member high-profile delegation from Argentina, headed by assistant coach Julian Camino, visited the stadiums on Sunday and expressed their satisfaction over the facilities out there.
The team, however, requested to add some facilities inside the BNS dressing room which is under construction at the moment. Their main complaint was about the number of the showers which they said is not good enough.
‘I think these grounds are up to the mark,’ Camino told reporters through interpreter Rodrigo Martin Bousso.
‘I examined and took pictures of both the grounds. Argentina head coach Alejandro Sabella will make the final decision based on my report. But I don’t think he will reject the grounds,’ he said.
The delegation arrived from Kolkata in the morning and after a quick look at the hotel they were taken to the BNS in the afternoon. The BFF later drove them to Fatullah to see the practice facilities.
It came as a surprise to the local media as they were earlier told that the Argentine team will visit the Kamalpaur stadium and if they reject it they will be offered the Banani Army stadium as practice venue.
Fatullah was an option in the past, but the Bangladesh Cricket Board, which is currently using it, had refused to let the Argentina team practise at the ground.
However, a last-minute agreement saw the stadium open for Argentina practice, though the Bangladesh Football Federation had to give an undertaking that they will not cause any damage to the existing cricket pitches.
The stadium has currently 11 international standard cricket pitches, one of which will be used for a warm-up game of the West Indies team in October.
Shafiul Alam Belal, the curator of the ground, told reporters that the BFF officials assured him that the pitches will be protected during the practice.
‘I am not sure how much protection we will have for the pitches. But I have been told it will be taken care of by the BFF.’
Belal said the Argentine inspection team had no complaint about the ground and the dressing room of Fatullah, which was upgraded to international standard during the ICC Cricket World Cup.
It was, however, learnt that the Argentine delegates were not satisfied with the travelling time to the practice ground. It took nearly one-and-a-half hours for the delegates to reach the venue after they had inspected the BNS.
The assistant coach asked the Bangladesh Football Federation officials if it is the usual time needed to reach the practice venue from the hotel. The BFF officials tried to explain to them that it will not take so long as Argentina will be given police protection to avoid traffic.
-With New Age input