Sports, Football

Two new faces in the national camp for FIFA friendly

Published : 20 Aug 2023 08:35 PM | Updated : 20 Aug 2023 08:35 PM

Bangladesh National football team will play two FIFA friendly matches against Afghanistan as part of preparation of World Cup qualifiers and to find out an expected side head, a 32-man squad was announced including two new faces.

Aiming to have a formidable team for the World Cup 2026 qualifying match against Maldives in October, Javier Cabrerahead coach of the Bangladesh national football team called the 32-man preliminary where a couple of new faces had their call.    

The training session of the national team started from Sunday at the Bashuindhara Kings sports Arena when the FIFA friendly matches against Afghanistan is scheduled to take place on September 4 and 7.

The venue of Afghanistan matches though yet to finalise but Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) preserves two options, Sylhet Stadium and the Bashundhara Kings Sports Arena.  

But Cabrera will not get all the 32 players in the camp from the first day when some of his players are in Bashundhara Kings’ camp and some of them left Kolkata with Abahani Limited respectively for their AFC Cup assignment.

Players of the Bashundhara Kings will join from August 25 and Abahani players will join the national camp from August 27 after completing their AFC Cup match against Mohun Bagan in Kolkata.    

However, in the Cabrera’s 32-members preliminary squad the new faces are Sawar Zaman Nipu and Dipok Roy of Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra respectively forwards of Azampur Football Club.

Among the two new booters, Cabrera called, Nipu, though has a late call in the national camp has a bright background at his age group national side when he played in the Under-16 team and has also scored two goals in the SAF U-16 tournament in 2015 and won the final against India.  

Nipu despite having the late call in the national camp, after wearing the Red and Green jersey eight years back, is highly excited, as he expressed his impression to the media saying, “It’s really like a dream to me when I received a call from the BFF that I would have to join in the national team’s camp on Sunday.”

Meanwhile, in the camp of the preliminary squad, there are some Under-23 players also, who will play the Asian Games. As Cabrera will conduct the camp of the Asian Games, he will run the camp with the combination of the players of of the Asian Games and the national team camp.

National team captain Jama Bhuiyan is not in the country when he has already joined an Argentine club is also in the Cabrera’s 32-man team, as the Spanish expects that he (Jamal) will join the camp at least a week before the Afghanistan match. But it depends on the Denmark born Bangladeshi national Jamal’s new club whether they would release him in time.