Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Champions Bashundhara Kings will discuss with Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) to decide about their 14 national booters who have been drafted in the recently announced Bangladesh Preliminary Squad, confirmed Bashundhara Kings President Imrul Hassan.
“According to the FIFA-AFC regulations, we can release our players 72 hours before the match day. Until then they are the assets of the club. We will take further decision on this issue as per the regulations, but of course, we will sit with BFF this week to see how we can coordinate our efforts,” Imrul told daily sun on Monday.Meanwhile, BFF sent an official letter to Bashundhara Kings on Monday regarding this issue.
Bangladesh, which were put in double-leg Group E of the Joint Qualifiers round two of FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023, are scheduled to host Afghanistan, India and Oman on October 8, November 12 and 17 respectively while meeting Asian champions Qatar in their lone away match on October 13.
Ahead of their assignment, BFF announced a 36-member preliminary squad, comprising of Bashundhara Kings 14 players, the players are set to join the camp on August 5 while the training will start from August 7 with strict health and safety measures at Sarah Resort in Gazipur.
On the other hand, Kings, which have been placed in double-leg Group E (South Asia) of AFC Cup 2020, will tour the centralised venues in Maldives to play the rest of their five matches. According to the new schedule, Kings are to play Maldivian club Maziya SRC on Oct 23 and Nov 4, TC Sports on Nov 1 and Indian club Chennai City FC on Oct 26 and Oct 29.
“Our matches are scheduled to be held in October-November, so we’ve planned to resume our camp in the first week of September. We’ve also planned to call our injured players in mid of August, but I don’t know why BFF have put them in the 36-member squad. Let's see how we can solve this issue,” Kings President added.
BFF called up Kings goalkeeper Anisur Rahman, four defenders namely Topu Barman, Md Yeasin Khan, Bishwanath Ghosh, Sushanto Tripura; four midfielders namely Atiqur Rahman Fahad, Tariq Raihan Kazi, Mohammad Rabiul Hasan, Biplo Ahamed and five forwards namely Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Md Matin Miah, Mohammad Ibrahim, Tawhidul Alam Sabuz and Masuk Mia Jony in the preliminary squad.Kings’ three key players Masuk Mia Jony, Md Matin Miah and Biplo Ahamed, who got injured during their respective international assignments, have now been recovering. Jony got injured during the training session in Tajikistan ahead of the national team’s first match of FIFA-AFC joint qualifiers against Afghanistan on September 2019, Biplu got injured during the 13th SA Games December 2019 and Matin was injured during the 6th Bangabandhu Gold Cup in January 2020.
Among the other players, Finland-born midfielder Kazi Tariq Raihan is going to make his debut for the national side while midfielder Atiqur Rahman Fahad returned to the team after a long break.
Meanwhile, Kings, which for the first time have been taking part in AFC Cup, have beaten former Dhivehi (Maldives) Premier League Champions TC Sports Club by 5-1 goals decisively in the group opener in March at Bangabandhu National Stadium.
On Monday, Bangladesh Head Coach Jamie Day voiced his opinion on this whole issue and hoped that both the parties will work out a middle ground which will be beneficial for both the teams.
“BFF needs to have a conversation with Bashundhara Kings on this matter. Obviously, the national team will want to get all of its players in the camp and Kings will want the same. If we can find a solution that suits everyone, then both parties will be happy,” said Day.
Jamie then went on to elaborate on potential solutions which might alleviate this problem to a certain extent.
“It’s not an ideal situation for national team, Kings and nor for the players to be in. There will be a lot of pressures on them at that time. It will be a very tough schedule. Traveling and playing a lot of matches in a short time are definitely big issues. We would have a long break which obviously will help, but at the same time we can't expect players to perform at every single game at their best. We may arrange our training sessions keeping those things in mind. We may rest players, if needed,” added Jamie.