A 24-member Bangladesh (Under-23) Football Team reached Nepalese capital Kathmandu on Wednesday afternoon to take part in the 13th South Asian (SA) Games eyeing a final berth.
Seven South Asian countries -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and hosts Nepal –- will compete in 26 disciplines of the 11-day sports carnival to be held in Kathmandu and tourist town of Pokhara from December 1-10.
A 621-member contingent will represent Bangladesh in the 25 disciplines of sports, out of 26 sports.
Bangladesh football team, which left Dhaka for Nepal without conducting any preparation camp here as the BFF cancelled the eight-day residential training camp earlier after league champions Bashundhara Kings did not release their players early for the camp.
However, Bashundhara Kings released their eight players of the team in the national interest, enabling Bangladesh team to fly for Nepal on Wednesday.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Day, who is spending holiday in England, is scheduled to join the Bangladesh team in Kathmandu very soon.
Talking to reporters at the airport before their departure for Nepal, Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan said although they have some lacking in preparations, they are confident of their ability to win the title.
Prior to the Nepal tour, Manager of Bangladesh Football Team Satyajit Das Rupu said, “Our eight-day residential camp was cancelled earlier. Now, we don’t have enough time to hold a camp. We’ll make our training sessions in Nepal eyeing to play initially in the semifinal and later in the final.”
Bangladesh have been placed in Group A along with hosts Nepal and Bhutan while Group B comprise of Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India.
The Bangladesh team will play Nepal in the opening match on December 1 and will take on Bhutan on December 3 in the 2nd and last group match, both at Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu.
Besides, a 22-member Bangladesh shooting team, including 17 shooters and five officials, also left Dhaka for Nepal on Wednesday afternoon targeting some gold medals.
Of the 25-member shooting team, three shooters -- Abdullah Hel Baki, Rabbi Hasan Munna and Robiul Islam -- did not accompany the contingent. They will join the team later.
Bangladesh Football team: Anisur Rahman, Pappu Hossain, Mahfuz Hasan Pritom, Yeasin Khan, Bishwanath Ghosh, Tutul Hosain Badsha, Rahmat Mia, Riyadul Hasan, Yeasin Arafat, Sushanto Tripura, Jamal Bhuiyan, Biplu Ahamed, Rabiul Hasan, Mahbubur Rahman, Md Al Amin, Nabib Newaz Jiban, Saad Uddin, Rakib Hossain, Arifur Rahman and Mohammad Ibrahim.
Officials: Satyajit Das Rupu (Team Manager), Jamie Day (Head Coach), Stuart Paul (Asst Coach), Robert Mimms (Asst Coach) and Amirul Islam (Team Official).
Bangladesh Shooting team: Syeeda Atkia Hasan, Ummey Zakia Sultana, Sharmin Akthar Ratna, Abdur Razzaq, Shakil Ahmed, Md Sabbir Alamin, Ardina Ferdous, Anjila Amjad Antu, Nilufa Yeasmin, Md Shovan Chowdhury, Md Ramjan Ali, Md Yusuf Ali, Nafisa Tabassum, Turing Dewan, Md Rayhanul Islam, Ershad Hossain and Shariful Islam.
Officials: Md Osman Gani (Team Manager), Ferdousi Parvin Poly (Team Manager), Saiful Alam, (Trainer), Kim Il Yong (Trainer) and Jahangir Hawladar (Team Official).