In Malালে, the capital of the Maldives, SAF’s insanity is now complete. All the teams have already reached there. The Bangladesh team arrived last Tuesday and completed the first day’s practice tomorrow. Sohail Rana was the only one in the practice. Although everyone was negative in the Corona test, Abahani midfielder Sohail has been rested due to fever.
Bangladesh will play in the opening match of SAF in Male. Opponent is Sri Lanka in 1995. The coaches and players have repeatedly said that winning this match is a good start. That is exactly what the Lankans want. They have camped in Riyadh for the tournament. Before Saf, two expatriates were also included in the team. Those two, Marvin Hamilton and Dillon de Silva, have joined the team directly from the UK in the Maldives. Tariq Kazi, a Bangladeshi expatriate from Finland, is confident that the tournament will start as expected in response to the Lankans’ challenge. He has no choice but to start the first match against Sri Lanka with a win.
About one lakh Bangladeshis live in Male. They are also showing enough interest in this tournament. Tickets have already started selling there. It is known that half of those interested in buying tickets are Bangladeshis. In Maldivian Rupee, 85 and 100 are the main tickets. However, the gallery does not have a chance to be full. Due to the Corona situation, only five thousand spectators will be able to watch the game from the field. Only those who have received both doses of corona vaccine can enter the field. In the Maldives, however, almost everyone has been vaccinated in two doses. Jamal Bhuiyan is going to get the support of the spectators from the first match against Sri Lanka.
After repeatedly leaving the group stage, a new hope balloon has flown with this clear. An indication of how real it is can be found in the first match. After the match against Sri Lanka on October 1, Bangladesh will face seven-time SAF champions India in the second match on October 4. On the opening day, the other two teams of the event, Maldives and Nepal will also take the field, they will face in the second match of the night. All the matches of SAF will be played in the national stadium of Mall. The five matches will be played every day at 4 pm (Bangladesh time 5 pm) and 9 pm (Bangladesh time 10 pm). The third match of Bangladesh on October 6 is only at night, the last match of the league season against Nepal on October 13. Before that, however, the reckoning of the final on October 16 will begin. Until then, the survival of Bangladesh in Male is a big challenge.