All the five foreign participating teams of the six-nation Bangabandhu International Gold Cup promised to give tough fight in the meet beginning from Wednesday at Bangabandhu National Football Stadium here.
Hosts Bangladesh will play against defending champions Palestine in the opening match at 5 pm eyeing on semifinal. On the other hand, holders Palestine are eyeing to defend their title.
Among the six participating teams of the meet, Sri Lanka and Burundi arrived Dhaka on Tuesday while Palestine and Mauritus reached on Monday. Another African team Seychelles will arrive here on Thursday (January 16), a day after the tournament begins.
Ahead of the tournament, Bangladesh Football Federation arranged a press meet at its’ house at Motijheel here on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Head Coach Jamie Day and Captain Jamal Bhuiyan, Palestine Head Coach Makram Daboub and key player Mohammed Darwish; Sri Lanka Team Manager Col. Pathmanathan and Team official Tossa Kodi, Mauritius Head Coach Francisco Fillo and Dhilien Bhlisson; Vice-President of Seychelles Football Federation Dolor Ernesta and Head Coach Don Anacoura were present at the press conference.
Bangladesh’s another opponents Sri Lanka National Football team’s Team Manager Col. Pathmanathan said, “We lost against Bangladesh in the recently concluded South Asian Games in Nepal. But, now we have come here with a balanced team. We made several changes in the squad. We want to reach semis with at least one draw and one win.”
Among others, Mauritius Head Coach Francisco Fillo said, “We came to Bangladesh for the first time; we don’t have any idea about Bangladesh team. We have earlier played in the Indian city Mumbai against an Indian club. Most of our players are young and they don’t have any experience of international matches. But, we want to fight here.”
Seychelles Head Coach Don Anacoura said, “My players are looking forward for the competition. We have also came with a young team. Most of our players have no experience.”