The players of the Bangladesh national football returned to camp at a hotel in the capital today ahead of the start of their training session tomorrow.
Some of the footballers had joined the camp previously on may 10 and 11, but after Bashundhara Kings declined to release their players the camp was disbanded and all the players went back to the clubs.
A total of 32 players checked in at the InterContinental Hotel this afternoon, looking to begin their preparations for next month's World Cup Qualifiers in Qatar. Full-back Bishwanath Ghosh is the one man missing from the 33-member preliminary camp.
Kings will not release Bishwanath
Bashundhara Kings, the Bangladesh Premier League champions, have decided not to release the national team full-back due to his recovery process with the club. The 21-year-old suffered thigh injury during the national team's Three Nations Cup assignment in Nepal in March this year.
The club's technical director BA Jubair Nipu, while talking to The Daily Star, explained his reasoning behind not releasing Bishwanath.
"Bishwa is still in recovery process. He feels pain while running. So if he plays or trains, he will further aggravate the injury which we cannot allow," Nipu said.
Training starts tomorrow
National team's head coach Jamie Day will, however, be relieved to finally start the training camp even without his trusted defender. He has a pool of 32 players now available to choose from, a squad which will be trimmed to 25 members before the team's departure for Qatar.
The players will undergo Covid tests today and will have thier first training session tomorrow morning, informed the team's manager Iqbal Hossain.
"Hope all the players will test negative. If anyone turns out positive, he will be isolated inside the camp and will go through recovery process. The players will start training sessions tomorrow morning at the BNS," Iqbal said.
Qatar lenient on Covid protocols
There was some concerns regarding the national team's preparations in Qatar prior to the matches since the Gulf State recently imposed stringent measures, including 10-day strict quarantine, on travellers South Asian region.
However, it is understood that the Qatar Football Association has convinced its government authorities to minimise the quarantine requirements to two days for the teams.
"We have a good news that we will only have to quarantine for two days in Qatar and then we can start training upon receiving negative Covid results there," said Iqbal.
The Bangladesh players will go through two rounds of Covid tests in Qatar and will be allowed to train two days after reaching there.
The Bangladesh team is likely to fly for Qatar on May 21 or 22. They are planning to play two practice matches against top Qatari clubs there before playing the three Qualifying matches against Afghanistan, India and Oman on June 3, 7 and 15 respectively.
Jamal hopeful of good results
Captain Jamal Bhuiyan expressed confidence about doing well against Afghanistan and India. The 31-year-old midfielder said they were unlucky against those two nation's in the first leg matches.
"Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh are of same level. Everyone saw what happened against India. We conceded a late equaliser. We lost narrowly against Afghanistan as we missed a few chances. So I still believe we can beat them in next matches," Jamal said.