Dhaka, Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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Booters to remain busy in 2018

DHAKA, Jan 2, 2018 (BSS)- Country's football will spend a busy time in its international engagements in 2018 as the national men's and women's soccer teams and age-group teams have a hectic schedule in different international as well as club-based tournaments.

The national men's football team will likely start their international football in 2018 with two friendly matches after a prolong fourteen-month gap.

The door for the national men's team to participate in the international sport was closed after an embarrassing defeat against Bhutan in a friendly match held on October 10, 2016.

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) also did not take any step to arrange any international match for the team. But, the men's team is going to pass busy time in the New Year as the BFF is likely to arrange two international friendly matches.

Talking to BSS, head of media and public relation officer of Bangladesh Football Federation Ahasan Ahmed Amit said the federation has a plan to organise two friendly matches for the national men's team - one against Cambodia and other against Brunei - in March this year.

If the national men's team plays the friendly matches, he said, the footballers will have the next mission to take part in the 10th SAFF Championship scheduled to be held on September 4-15 next in Dhaka.

Bangladesh Football Federation also has a plan to host the prestigious Bangabandhu Gold Cup in April next. The national football team has no more international matches this year except the SAFF.

Amit said the national women's soccer team has a lot of international engagements this year. They will take part in the Asian Games in August- September. But, it is yet to be confirmed whether the men's team will play in the Asian Games or not.

"We've sent both the lists of men's and women's teams to Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) to take part in the Asian Games and the BOA will take decision whether they will send the men's soccer team or not," he said.

The women's football team will spend a busy time this year like the previous year. The eve team will likely take part in the senior SAFF Championship scheduled to be held in December. The U-18 and U-15 championships will also be held in the New Year.

The BFF head of Media officer said the Under-15 girls' team may take part in the women's four-nation invitational football tournament in Hong Kong although BFF does not get any official invitation from the organiser yet.

The girls' in red and green will tour to Thailand in May to participate Footstall Tournament. Then, the eve team will take part in the AFC U-16 and U-19 championships in September and October respectively.

The New Year is also studded with club-based international matches. Traditional sky blue Dhanmondi 'outfit' have already ensured their participation in the Asian clubs phase second best tournament AFC Cup. One more local club will also take part in the tournament. The name of the second team will be known after finalising the team's position participating in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.

After the league, the two table-toppers teams will get the opportunity to participate in the qualifying round of the AFC Cup.

The Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup Championship is set to be held in March-April. Apart from Chittagong Abahani, the other two local Clubs will get chance to participate in the prestigious tournament.