Booters going to Saudi Arabia?
After being denied an opportunity to hold a residential camp and play two practice matches in Qatar due to the country's stringent quarantine measures, Bangladesh Football Federation has turned to Saudi Arabia to have their last leg of preparation for next month's World Cup Qualifiers.
The game's local governing body claimed that they requested Saudi Arabian Football Federation to arrange two practice matches for the national team. However, the recently imposed stringent Covid protocols by the Saudi government has put a bit of a damper on the progress of the tour.
"We asked the SAFF to host us for two practice matches there. They promised us at least one match against a quality local club. We processed visas for everyone and were supposed to fly day after tomorrow. However, the recent measures by the Saudi government has made it a bit hard but we are negotiating for exemptions through our channels," BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag told The Daily Star.
"We are still hopeful that we can avail this opportunity. If the tour goes ahead, the team will fly to Dammam on Monday and after the camp and practice matches, the team will fly from there to Qatar on May 30," the BFF spokesman said.
Having played five matches of the World Cup Qualifiers so far collecting a single point, Bangladesh will play their sixth match against Afghanistan on June 3 before playing against India and Oman on June 7 and 15 respectively.