No Bashundhara Kings, Abahani players in Asian Games squad
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) on Monday named a 22-member squad for the upcoming Asian Games, excluding players from Bashundhara Kings and Abahani.
The squad features three senior players - Jamal Bhuiyan, Mohammad Ibrahim and Murad Hossain, all of whom are from other clubs.
Kings and Abahani expressed their unwillingness to release players ahead of their respective engagements in the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup.
The Asian Games are scheduled to get underway on September 23 in China, but football event is likely to start earlier than the scheduled opening. There are fixtures of AFC Champions League and AFC Cup in August and September.
"We sent names of the footballers before the deadline ended on July 15 as only the registered footballers are eligible to participate the Asian Games," BFF grassroots manager Hasan Mahmud told the Daily Star.
"Bashundhara Kings informed through an official letter that they would not be able to release their players due to their AFC Champions League engagement while Abahani will not be able to release their players if they progress to the next round of the AFC Cup. So, we could not consider their players because the players outside the entries are not eligible to participate in Asian Games," said Hasan, adding that they initially considered some 54 players including 12 players from Kings and five players from Abahani but excluded all of them except for one player from Abahani.
Meanwhile, the national teams committee today decided to host two FIFA friendly matches in September as part of the national team's preparation for World Cup pre-qualifiers. The national team's camp will begin on August 20.
Asian Games Squad: Mitul Marma, Mehedi Hasan Sraban, Pappu Hossain, Issa Faisal, Tanvir Hossain, Shakil Hossain, Murad Hossain, Atiquzzaman, Razib Hossain, Shahin Ahmed, Abu Sayeed, Taj Uddin, Shahidul Islam, Jahed Ahmed, Jamal Bhuiyan, Mohammad Ibrahim, Faisal Ahmed Fahim, Rafiqul Islam, Ahmed Pias Nova, Sarwar Hasan Nipu and Jayer Islam.