After four-and-a-half months of inaction caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, national footballers will finally return to the training process today when the first group will go through medical procedures. Three Bashundhara Kings booters, who recently recovered from injury, will however miss the national camp.
Captain Jamal Bhuiyan and Finland-born defender Tariq Raihan Kazi will also be missing as they are still looking for tickets to return to Bangladesh from Denmark and Finland respectively.
On July 26, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) announced a 36-member preliminary squad for the rest of the four fixtures of the Joint Qualifiers for World Cup and Asian Cup, but head coach Jamie Day has to start the camp with 33 players.
Although Kings have agreed to release 11 other players for the national camp up to August 31, they did not allow fit-again striker Matin Mia, midfielders Masuk Mia Jonny and Atiqur Rahman Fahad to join the camp saying that the trio had sustained serious injuries before the pandemic-induced shutdown.
Kings are supposed to start a rehabilitation camp this month with their injured players before starting the pre-season camp for the AFC Cup in early September as they are scheduled to resume their campaign on October 23 in Maldives.
Kings also mentioned in the letter sent to the BFF that they would release all players on October 5, just two days before Bangladesh's tie against Afghanistan on October 7 in Sylhet, as per FIFA regulations, as they believe that the World Cup Qualifiers and AFC Cup are of equal importance because both teams will represent Bangladesh on the international stage.
Thirty-three players will join the training camp separately with the first 12 players to check into Sarah Resorts in Gazipur today after taking the Covid-19 test at BSMMU, while 12 more will join them tomorrow after undergoing the same process. The seven remaining players will join the camp on August 7.