SAFF C’ship in BFF’s sights
Although the details of the next edition of the SAFF Championship are yet to be ironed out, Bangladesh are thinking of preparing the national team for the regional football extravaganza by playing friendly matches during March's FIFA window.
The revelation came following a meeting between National Teams Committee chairman and BFF vice-president Kazi Nabil Ahmed and head coach Javier Cabrera yesterday, during which they discussed several aspects including the preparation of the national team and possible opponents for the friendlies.
"We discussed how we can prepare for the upcoming March window and who our opponents could be. We want to play friendly matches at home during the FIFA window to prepare the national team for the SAFF Championship, which will possibly be in June-July," Nabil told reporters after the meeting.
Since the 2009 SAFF Championship, Bangladesh have failed to make it out of the group stage five times in a row. The closest the boys in red and green got was in the 2021 SAFF Championship in Maldives, when they were on the verge of making the final after a five-team round robin phase.
However, Nepal broke their hearts by notching a come-from-behind 1-1 draw that left Bangladesh fourth in the five-team table instead of getting a taste of a first final in 16 years following a 2-0 loss to India in the 2005 final in Islamabad.
It has been learnt that the SAFF Championship is likely to be held in India from June 20.
Cabrera, who guided Bangladesh to one win, two draws and five losses during last year, was ecstatic after being handed another one-year contract.
"It was fantastic experience from beginning to the end with the Bangladesh team. The results could have been better, but we showed improvement in our performances match by match. Now our challenge and mission is to improve in terms of results," Cabrera said. "We need to compete, progress and improve and we are eager to put up a good performance in front of home crowd. We have to work on the field to get ready for the March window," Cabrera said, adding that they did not have 'any specific target'.