Tuesday, 28 September, 2021
E-paper

Kings impressed with Maldives’ hospitality

  • DM Simanto from Male
  • 16th August, 2021 09:55:44 PM
  • Print news

Country’s top-outfit Bashundhara Kings is enjoying their life in Maldives as they expressed their satisfaction regarding the overall arrangements by the Maldivian government and their football federation for the Group D matches of the AFC Cup 2021.
 
Since arriving in Male, the capital of Maldives on Friday, the Bangladesh champions have been passing a busy schedule to complete their final preparation ahead of their AFC Cup 2021 matches under strict bio-bubble and health guidelines.
 
The 48-member contingent of Kings, including 24 players, has been staying at Hotel Jen Maldives Male by Shangri-La which is less than one kilometre away from National Stadium that will host all the matches.
 
The team, which started practice on Saturday, has been training hard at Henveiru Football Ground which is also less than one kilometre away from their team hotel.
 
Although Maldives have relaxed their quarantine rules as no mandatory quarantine is needed, for now, the whole team is completely protected by a strong bio-bubble protocol as they aren’t allowed to come outside of the hotel except for practice sessions.
 
The players and officials are also not allowed to meet with anyone and even they have been maintaining social distance among themselves.
 
Meanwhile, players are provided with all the facilities including the swimming pool, gymnasium in the hotel and they are the only ones allowed to use them.
 
The team members have been staying in separate individual rooms and no one is allowed to stay in a teammate’s room, not even one can use the other's washroom.  
 
“The arrangements are really impressive,” Bashundhara Kings’ Head of Strategy and Planning Bayazid Alam Zubair Nipu told The Daily Sun on Monday.

“We have specific schedules for swimming, gym, practice, team meeting and catering,” he added.
 
Kings captain Topu Barman said that the hotel authority is very professional and has been providing them with all kinds of facilities since their check-in.
 
“The hotel facilities are impressive. We have got all facilities -- swimming, gym -- here. These are the basic requirements of a professional team and players. The hotel authority fulfilled all our requirements, they are professional,” Topu said.
 
Head coach Oscar Bruzon said they are now setting their eyes on the matches of the competition as they will take on local club Maziya Sports and Recreation on Wednesday in their first outing.
 
“People here are really welcoming. So far the experience is really fantastic. Now it’s time for us to deliver good results,” the Spaniard said.
 
Brazilian forward Robson Azevedo da Silva Robinho said that he was hoping to win all three matches in Male.
 
“I’m feeling really good in Maldives. I’m very happy to be playing in the AFC. All players have a strong and positive mind for AFC. Hopefully, we will win all matches,” the Brazilian said.
 
Kings will play their last two matches against two Indian teams -- Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan FC on August 21 and 24 respectively at the same venue.
 
Bengaluru FC defeated Club Eagles of Maldives by 1-0 goals in the South Asia Zone play-off on Sunday to qualify for the main event.