All the participating teams arrived in Chittagong on Sunday as the port city is gearing up for the inaugural Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup tournament.
The eight-club tournament, organised by Chittagong Abahani, will kick-off at 4:30pm on Tuesday at the MA Aziz Stadium with Dhaka Abahani Limited facing Pakistan’s top-tier champions Karachi Electric FC in the opening match.
Hosts Chittagong Abahani will take on Indian giants East Bengal FC in the other match on the opening day.
India’s I-League champions East Bengal and traditional outfit Kolkata Mohammedan were first two overseas teams to arrive in the host city Chittagong in the afternoon.
They were followed by three other foreign clubs—Solid FC of Sri Lanka, Karachi Electric FC and De Spinghar Bazan Club of Afghanistan, who landed in the evening.
Two Dhaka giants Abahani and Mohammedan also reached on the same evening.
Chief coordinator of the tournament, Tarafder Ruhul Amin said they accommodated the teams in three different hotels in city and also arranged two practice venues —Chittagong Sea Port Stadium and Police Line ground for the participating teams.
‘We have completed all of our preparations to provide the visiting teams a warm hospitality,’ he said. ‘Now we are waiting to see some real footballing battles in the field.’
‘We offered top class security for the visiting teams considering some recent incidents in our country.
‘All three hotels, where the participating teams will be staying, were kept under a strong surveillance. The law enforcing agencies have assured us of providing full co-operation.’
A total of 12 foreign match officials also arrived to conduct the matches of the tournament.
The orgranisers, however, was still struggling to make the tournament venue MA Aziz Stadium ready for the matches.
The outfield of the multipurpose stadium, where the matches of the local league were held even a week ago, still remained uneven, leaving the chance of an injury high.
The experts of Bangladesh Football Federation led by its grounds committee chairman Fazlur Rahman Babul told reporters that they are trying hard to make the field ready before the tournament.
Hosts Chittagong Abahani coach Shafiqul Islam Manik expressed his dissatisfaction over the state of the outfield of the stadium.
‘As home side we could have taken the advantage by training here if it was ready. But unfortunately that did not happen,’ said Manik.
-With New Age input