Bangladesh team to leave for Maldives Tuesday in hunt for SAFF title
Bangladesh national football team will fly for the Maldives Tuesday at 2:30 pm in the hunt for the title of the five-nation SAFF Championship 2021 beginning on October 1 at the National Stadium in capital Male.
It will be the first assignment for Oscar Bruzon, the newly appointed Spanish interim Head Coach of national team. Bruzon, head coach of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football champions Bashundhara Kings, has been hired for the SAFF assignment.
In the five-nation South Asian regional football, Bangladesh will play Sri Lanka in one of the two opening day's matches on October 1 at 10: pm (Bangladesh Time).
In the remaining league matches, Bangladesh will play India on September 4 at 5:pm , hosts Maldives on September 7 at 10; pm and Nepal on September 13 at 5: pm , all at the national football stadium in Male.
After the league basis matches, two top teams will play final on October 16 at 9 pm at the same venue.
In a pre-tour press conference at BFF office on Monday, both the Bangladesh interim head coach Oscar Bruzon and team captain Jamal Bhuiyan expressed their high hope of clinching the SAFF title this time, despite the Bangladesh failed to overcome the group stages in the last four meets.
Apart from head coach and captain, team manager cum BFF member Satyajit Das Rupu and media manager Hasan Mahmud were also present at the conference.
Addressing the journalists Bangladesh captain said, "We are playing together for long, we have a good understanding, we worked hard in last few days, now we are confident and our players are committed do something giving our best to achieve the target"
Replying to question, Jamal Bhuiyan said, as per current FIFA ranking, India is the favourite, but we treat all the opponents equally , now our first target is to beat Sri Lanka.
Coach Bruzon is also optimistic about making memorable his first assignment by clinching the title.
Earlier on Wednesday (Sept 22), Bruzon announced a 26-member preliminary squad for the competition.
Two expatriate booters --Rahbar Wahed Khan of Canada and Tahmid Islam of France -- who were included in the Jamie Day's squad for the Three-nation Cup in Kyrgyzstan, including promising custodian Mitul Marma , were not considered this time in Bruzon team.
The highest ten players including Nigeria-born Bangladeshi citizen Eleta Kingsley were picked up from BPL champions Bashundhara Kings while five booters from Dhaka Abahani and four players from Saif SC included in the squad .
Earlier this month, Bangladesh team, coached by Jamie Day, toured Kyrgyzstan to play three matches-- two in the Three Nations Cup and one friendly against Kyrgyz U-23 team as part of their preparation for the SAFF Championship, but lost all the three matches. -UNB