Bangladesh Men's Football Team reached the Chinese city of Hangzhou on Saturday morning to participate in the 19th Asian Games Football, beginning there on Wednesday.
The men's football team departed Dhaka at 12:50 am on Saturday and reached the team hotel in Hangzhou at about 11:00 am as the first batch of the 240-member Bangladesh contingent that will represent the country in the Hangzhou Asiad scheduled for September 23 to October 8.
Some 12,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries are expected to compete in 481 events in 61 disciplines of sports in the biggest sports carnival in Asia, the second-biggest sports extravaganza in the world after the Olympic Games.
Bangladesh will compete in 17 disciplines of sports—athletics, archery, boxing, cricket, chess, football, kabaddi, hockey, shooting, swimming, weightlifting, karate, gymnastics, fencing, bridge, golf, and taekwondo—in the mega Asian Games.
Although the Hangzhou Asiad will officially be inaugurated on September 23, the men's football competition will start on September 19, three days ahead of the meet's opening ceremony.
Bangladesh's team, which was placed in tough group with upper ranked China, India, and Myanmar, will face Myanmar on September 19, India on September 21 and host China on September 24.
Dhaka Abahani defender Rahmat Mia will lead the Bangladesh team in Asian Games Football.
Bangladesh played 27 matches in the Asian Games Football since their first inception in 1978 and won only four matches, one each against Malaysia, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Qatar.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh women's football team will fly to Hangzhou on September 19 to make its first Asian Games debut.
They will play in the World Cup against Japan on September 22, Vietnam on September 25, and Nepal on September 28 in group affairs.
Grand Master Niaz Morshed and the captain of SAFF champions Bangladesh Women's Football Team, Sabina Khatun, will carry the Bangladesh national flag in the opening ceremony of the Asian Games on September 23.
Bangladesh, which faced a medal drought in the last Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, in 2018, is this time expecting better results from cricket, shooting, and archery.
Moreover, Bangladesh also has high hopes for two Bangladesh-origin expatriate athletes: Zinnat Ferdous of the United States and sprinter Imranrur Rahman of the United Kingdom.