Head coach of Bangladesh National Football Team Jamie Day said that he is worried about the team as eleven out of 27 players have tested COVID-19 positive before joining the camp.
“Yes, it's something to worry about. I will have to speak to the BFF and decide what's the best plan going forward. I haven't yet talked to them as we have only just found out the news but I will put forward what I believe we should do,” he told daily sun on Friday.The 31-member preliminary team, split into three groups, were set to join the camp on August 5, 6 and 7 respectively. In the first phase, 11 out of 15 players and 9 officials joined the camp. Four players namely Bangladesh Police’s Nazmul Islam Rasel and MS Bablu, Uttar Baridhara’s Md Sumon Reza and Bashundhara Kings’ Bishwanath Ghosh were ruled out of the squad as they tested COVID-19 positive on Wednesday.
In the second phase, 7 out of 12 players tested COVID-19 positive on Thursday. Among them, three players are from Dhaka Abahani’s Md Totul Hossain Badsha, Sohel Rana, Md Sahidul Alam and four players are from Kings Mohammad Ibrahim, Sushanto Tripura, Anisur Rahman Zico and Mohammad Rabiul Hasan.
After a 8-month break, the men in red and green are going to get back to action with hosting 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 the assignment, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) on July 26 announced a 36-member preliminary squad. But midfielder Atiqur Rahman Fahad and two forwards Md Matin Miah, Masuk Mia Jony will miss the camp due to their respective injuries.
On the other hand, two players namely captain Jamal Bhuiyan and newcomer Tariq Raihan Kazi are also unable to join the camp due to travel restrictions. Jamal is now in Denmark while Tariq is in Finland. Head coach Jamie Day, assistant coach Stuart Watkiss and other foreign staffs will join the camp in the middle of August.
All the footballers and coaching staff would undergo a two-week quarantine and underwent COVID-19 tests ahead of the main training camp starting from August 21. During the quarantine, booters, split into five-six groups, would continue their training sessions and gym sessions under the supervision of two local coaches Masud Parvej Kaisar and Syed Golam Jilani.