Jamie Day will have all the 33 players of the preliminary squad for World Cup Qualifiers at his disposal for a week-long training camp in Dhaka including the 10 Bashundhara Kings players, thanks to the postponement of the AFC Cup.
The English coach will arrive from England in Dhaka tonight along with assistant coach Stuart Watkiss and goalkeeping coach Les Cleevely, and following a brief quarantine period, will likely start the training camp from May 15.
The players, meanwhile, will start checking in at the team hotel from today and now along with the others, the 10 selected Bashundhara Kings players will be there too. The players will stay at the hotel and undergo Covid tests before starting ground training from the middle of the month.
The Kings players were all prepared to board the Male-bound flight on Sunday evening, but were told to stay back at the eleventh hour by the game's local governing body. The Asian football body, AFC, later released a statement in the afternoon saying that the AFC Cup group fixtures were postponed indefinitely.
"The AFC Cup (South) Group Stage matches are now postponed until further notice with more information to be announced in due course," the AFC statement said.
Maldives had previously wanted to postpone the event, but their request was rejected by the AFC. However, it is believed that the travel restrictions imposed on people from South Asian countries on Saturday morning and the alleged breach of Covid protocol by members of the Bengaluru FC team, who were in Male for a playoff fixture, prompted the Maldivian government to force AFC into postponing the group stage matches.
The group stages were supposed to feature Bashundhara Kings, Maziya SR&C, ATK Mohun Bagan and the winner of the playoff between Club Eagles and Bengaluru FC.