Socceroos’ Bangladesh visit also in doubt

September 30, 2015

The militants threat that prompted Cricket Australia to put its national cricket team’s planned Bangladesh visit on hold could have a greater ramification as Football Federation Australia also started thinking in the same line ahead of a World Cup qualifier. Bangladesh are scheduled to host Australia for a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Dhaka on November 17, but the militant threat, followed by the killing of an Italian aid worker has put the match in doubt.
Australian media reported that their football federation is closely monitoring the situation and is likely to follow the Cricket Australia, who is on the verge of cancelling the cricket team’s voyage.
A spokesperson of Football Federation Australia told Fox Sports that the situation is being monitored but he did not make a comment about moving such a high profile match from Bangladesh to a neutral venue.
‘FFA has been closely monitoring the current security situation in Bangladesh ahead of the planned World Cup Qualifier in November,’ said the FFA spokesman in quotes carried by Fox Sports on Tuesday.
‘FFA has been in discussions with DFAT and
other related Federal Government agencies, security experts and the AFC to ensure we have a clear picture of the situation in Bangladesh.’
Bangladesh Football Federation, however, brushed aside the media reports as ‘rumour’, saying that they have not received any message from FIFA, AFC or the Australian authority.
‘The rumour regarding Australia football team’s visit in Bangladesh is totally baseless,’ said BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag. ‘Neither the Football Federation Australia nor the FIFA or AFC made any inquiry about this so far.’
The BFF official argued that Bangladesh hosted many high-profile football matches in the past including the FIFA friendly
match between Argentina and Nigeria, so providing security to Australia football team should not be a problem.
Shohag added that BFF also assured its overseas coaching staff, including national team’s Italian
head coach Fabio Lopez and his two assistants, who have seen a fellow countryman killed in the capital’s high-security diplomatic zone.
German goalkeeping coach Christian Schweichler was also given the same assurance about his security.
‘The Italian embassy in Dhaka didn’t contact with us so far. We talked to the head coach [Fabio Lopez] and his two assistants already about the security,’ said Shohag.
‘We requested them to inform us about their movements. We have also requested the BKSP authorities to ensure the security of them and other members of the national team.’
’Schweichler, who is now working with the Under-19 team in Dhaka, was also given the same assurance,’ he said.

-With New Age input

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