No place for Alfaz
Alfaz Ahmed's return from retirement was short-lived as the veteran striker was dropped from the national team's preparatory camp for two tournaments this year and the World Cup pre-qualifiers.
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday called 33 footballers to join camp for this October's World Cup home and away pre-qualifiers against Tajikistan, the Grand Royal Cup in Myanmar where the Under-23 team will participate in November and the SAFF Champion-ship in December.
Alfaz, who had announced his retirement from international football after the Asia Cup qualifiers in 2006, joined the camp for the Nehru Cup -- which concluded in India last month -- when he was picked by new coach Syed Nayeemuddin.
Alfaz, the fulcrum of the country's SAF Games (1999) and SAFF Championship (2003) winning teams, did not get a chance in the starting line-up of the first two games in the Nehru Cup in New Delhi but got back into the first eleven in the latter matches after the Bangladesh striking duo failed to deliver the goods.
Bangladesh scored just one goal in four matches and Indian coach Nayeemuddin, whose vacation has yet to be ended, kept his first choice striking pair of Emily and Robin in addition of Moni and rookie Rony Islam.
The BFF finalised the team after yesterday's teleconference among its acting general secretary Manzoor Hossain Malu, Hasanuzzaman Babloo who was coach of the Merdeka Cup side, assistant coach Golam Jilani and Nayeemuddin, who is now in Kolkata to obtain visa to return to Bangladesh.
"We discussed for a long time and Nayeemuddin took reports of the Merdeka Cup before finalising the list," said Malu yesterday.
The team will leave Dhaka tomorrow for Cox's Bazar to have a monthlong residential camp in the tourist resort.
"We are sending three coaches and a physio with the team, which will stay at the Diamond Rest House. It is very close to the Cox's Bazar Stadium where the team will train for one month," informed Malu.
The general secretary of Cox's Bazar DSA will co-ordinate the camp, to be run by Nayeem, Babloo and Jilani.
Although the squad include 33 members, goalkeeper Aminul Haque, who missed an entire season due to injury, will join unofficially.
"No doubt he is the number one goalkeeper of the country but Nayeem was reluctant as he did not see him play throughout the season. However, as the general secretary of the federation, I have used my power to take him to the camp," added Malu.
Aminul has recovered from injury and has been training for long.
Although press reports suggested that Sujan, country's top defender, was on the verge of his return to the national team, it was learned that his recovery from injury was not good enough for him to play even humbly for half an hour.
Muktijoddha's holding midfiel-der Maruf and Badda Jagarani midfielder Nasir are the new inclusions while Mohammed Rony, Akram, GM Mamun, Mamun Khan and Liton were ignored after not playing in the Nehru Cup or the Merdeka Cup.
The other noted omission was former international Parvez Babu while impressive rightback Ibnul Siraji once again failed to win the heart of the coaching panel despite Bangladesh showed incompetence at the right side of the backline in the Nehru Cup.
Goalkeepers: Biplab Bhattachariya, Ziaur Rahman Zia, MN Shakil, Mazharul Islam Himel.
Defenders: Hassan Al Mamun, Feroz Mahmud Titu, Atiqur Rahman Mishu, Rajani Kanta Barman, Nazrul Islam, Ariful Islam, Mahmudul Hassan, Jahirul Islam, Amit Khan Shuvra, Mofazzal Hossain Saikat, SM Rajib, Arafat Rony, Arup Baidya, Wali Faisal.
Midfielders: Mehdi Hassan Ujjal, Arman Aziz, Abul Hossain, Zahid Hossain, Zahed Parvez, Matiur Munna, Jumratul Islam Mithu, Mamunul Islam, Enamul Haque Sharif, Nasirul Islam Nasir, Maruf Ahmed.
Forwards: Mohammed Robin, Zahid Hassan Emily, Rony Islam, Saifur Rahman Moni.