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Day: Tajikistan’s astro-turf to benefit Afghanistan

  • Published at 01:22 pm August 14th, 2019
Bangladesh coach Jamie Day conducts training Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan will commence their Group E fixtures at Central Republican Stadium in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, also known as Pamir Stadium, on September 10

Bangladesh are set to kick off the second round of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint-qualifiers campaign at a neutral venue in Tajikistan as it was officially confirmed Tuesday that Afghanistan would get Dushanbe as their home venue for the opening four matchdays.

Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan will commence their Group E fixtures at Central Republican Stadium in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, also known as Pamir Stadium, on September 10.

Bangladesh head coach Jamie Day said the astro-turf of Tajikistan would benefit their opening opponent. 

He said, “It would be a very tough match. They (Afghanistan) have some good players who play in Europe, and again, a team a lot higher in the ranking, and as the game will be held in Tajikistan, then the pitch could be astro-turf which is an advantage for them as well.”

The English coach added through whatsapp messenger, “We will prepare correctly to give us the best chance of getting a result, but we will have to play at our best. Knowing my players, they will give their all. I think we will look to be solid and hard to beat.”

Day is close to ending his vacation in London and scheduled to return to Dhaka Monday. 

He wanted to begin the preparation camp in the capital in the last week of this month. 

“The players are expected to return on August 26 for the camp and Abahani players will join after their match (AFC Cup inter-zone semi-final) in North Korea,” said Day.

Before the confirmation of Afghanistan’s home venue, it was initially planned that the national team would go to Qatar for a short training camp in the first week of September. 

Day said, “We won’t be going to Qatar as it is a long flight to Tajikistan, so no value for us to do that.”

BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag also talked about the change of plans. 

“We will have a week-long camp in Dhaka this month and try to fly to Tajikistan within the first three days of September. The BFF sent a letter to Tajikistan Football Federation to play a couple of practice matches against the local clubs. Everything will be finalized through professional league committee meeting soon,” said Shohag.

Day said he has already prepared the final squad, which is likely to be revealed officially by the BFF Friday. 

“We did 38-man list last month and cut it to final 23-man squad this month. We have to give the players a program to follow in the next few weeks,” said Day.

The 39-year-old coach also hinted of keeping the squad almost unchanged from their last game against Laos in June. 

He continued, “There are a few changes but most of the squad is the same. It was based on a number of factors which have happened over the last 12 months.”

Meanwhile, Bangladesh will host 2022 World Cup host Qatar in their second group encounter at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on October 10 before flying to Kolkata to play their next tie against India at the traditional Salt Lake Stadium on October 15.

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