Sports, Football

Hamza’s Bangladesh debut can turn into reality

Published : 29 Feb 2024 08:53 PM

Leicester City midfielder Hamza Chowdhury can play for the Bangladesh national team in the near future, Bangladesh head coach Javier Cabrera said on Thursday. 

Born in the United Kingdom, Hamza has Grenadian and Bangladeshi heritage, and the 26-year-old has already stated his eagerness to play for the Bangladesh national team. 

Cabrera said, “I think we have to be very positive about the situation with Hamza."

The national team is leaving for Saudi Arabia on Saturday for a two-week preparation camp, starting on March 3, before the upcoming World Cup 2026 qualifier match. 

Following that camp, the booters will travel to Kuwait to play against Palestine on March 21 before hosting the same opponents on March 26 at Bashundhara Kings Arena in Dhaka. Bangladesh announced a 28-member preliminary squad for these fixtures on Wednesday. 

It was speculated that Hamza and Shamit Shome, a Canadian football player of Bangladeshi descent, would be included in the squad for the latest World Cup qualifiers. 

However, the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) had earlier mentioned that the process of ensuring the eligibility of such foreign-based players would take some time. 

But Cabrera raises the hopes of fans who have been longing for it to be a reality for a while now.

"Obviously, the management and the BFF will be able to give you more information, but to me, it is not relevant whether Hamza is playing for us now; rather, what is relevant to me is that it could become a reality sooner rather than later. Hopefully, we can have someone like him on the national team sooner," added Cabrera.