Sports, Football

Booters leave for KSA

Published : 02 Mar 2024 09:49 PM

The Bangladesh national football team left for Saudi Arabia for a 13-day long training camp at the King Fahad Sports City Stadium at Taif in Mokkha as part of their World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 joint qualifiers against Palestine on Saturday afternoon. 

The group consisted of 28 players members who were called up for the preliminary squad, the Spanish national team’s coach, Javier Cabrera, and one official.

In his preliminary squad, Cabrera picked up four goalkeepers, eight defenders, nine midfielders, and seven forwards for the camp before playing Palestine in the qualifying match at the Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium Kuwait on March 21. 

Jamal Bhuyan sides will play the return leg at the Bashundhara Kings Arena in Dhaka on March 26.

The Spaniard called up 10 players from Bashundhara Kings, five from Sheikh Jamal DC, four from Abahani Limited, three from Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra, two each from Mohammedan Sporting Club, One each from Brothers Union and Fortis FC.

Cabrera hopes the two-week camp in KSA will be a better preparation for the team before of their Group I double-leg match. 

The Red and Green have lost against Australia 0-7 and drew against Lebanon 1-1 in their first two qualifiers. 

‘We are lucky to have the chance to go to Saudi Arabia for two-week training in order to prepare for the next games against Palestine,’ said Cabrera in the pre-tour press conference at the Bangladesh Football Federation on Thursday.

Cabrera called up 28 players for the Palestine ties with three new faces: Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club defender Taj Uddin, Brothers Union forward Rabbi Hossen Rahul, and Police Football Club midfielder Syed Shah Quazem Kirmanee.

The Spaniard claimed that he would work with his charges to come up with fresh concepts during their training in Saudi Arabia in an effort to enable them to compete against stronger teams.

‘Training in Saudi Arabia has to be the moment to go to the next level with introducing new concepts and new things that will make the team better to be able to compete against a really strong team in Palestine,’ he added. He also warned his charges that the way they played against Lebanon would not be enough to earn a positive result against a much stronger Palestine team.

‘Doing the same things that we did against Lebanon is not going to be enough to get anything against Palestine.’

Cabrera added that during the camp, his main focus would be to create a team that could be better than the past year.

‘We have to have a better team than we had in 2023; that is the only thing.

I just gave an option to compete against Palestine,’ said the coach. ‘We always trust the players we are calling. There are many things to improve to defend better, create chances, and score more goals.’