B’desh eye solace in Solidarity Cup

September 9, 2016

AFCSensing a failure in the Asian Cup qualifying play-offs, Bangladesh have their back-up plan ready for international football as they have made an entry for the low-level AFC Solidarity Cup in Malaysia in November. The AFC has planned for the Solidarity Cup to give fringe teams of region some international exposures as they are unlikely to get any international matches for a long period provided they fail to qualify for the Asian Cup qualifiers.
Bangladesh are currently involved in an home-and-away play-offs against Bhutan with the tie scheduled to be decided on October 10 in Thimpu after the first leg-in Dhaka ended in a goalless draw.
Bhutan refused to play the Solidarity Cup and have put their all attention in Bangladesh tie with them just needing a win in home leg now.
Recently humiliated by Maldives, Bangladesh, however, wasted no opportunity to have their name enrolled for the tournament meant for the whipping boys of the region.
The tournament will take place from 2 to 15 November, with the participation of eight to nine teams.
Brunei Darussalam, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, who were all eliminated from the joint qualification round of 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup, will be joined by the three losers of Asian Cup qualifiers.
Except Bhutan the rest of the five teams — Bangladesh, Laos, Maldives, Chinese Taipei and Timor-Leste—showed their interest to play in the tournament if they would rule out from the play-offs.
If Bangladesh are eliminated from the play-offs on October 10, then they will have to join in Group A alongside Nepal, Pakistan Brunei Darussalam and the losing sides of the play-offs between Timor-Leste and Chinese Taipei.
The Group B is comprised of s Sri Lanka, Macau, Mongolia and Maldives/Laos.
Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin is hoping that the country’s footballers will make the tournament redundant by winning the away fixture against Bhutan.
‘I hope they [players] can put some good show in Thimpu,’ Salahuddin told reporters on Thursday.
‘If they can realise that this is the time to prove their worth then I think we will beat Bhutan otherwise we have to remain there where we stand now.’

-With New Age input

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