September 18, 2021

11 Bangladesh national team players test positive for Covid-19

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11 footballers have tested positive within two days…

11 players of the Bangladesh national team have tested positive for the Coronavirus as of Friday, with seven more players set to be tested on Saturday by the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF). 

Bangladesh were set to start their World Cup qualifiers preparatory camp on August 7 in Ghazipur but that could be in jeopardy as so many players have tested positive.

Bangladesh are set to resume their World Cup and Asian Cup Qualifying campaign by hosting Afghanistan on October 8 in Sylhet. Whereas, India are set to take on Bangladesh on November 12. 

But given that the Coronavirus has affected each country on a different scale, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) would be considering holding the remaining matches at centralised venues in each of the groups. It could well see matches in each group being played at one venue in one of the countries in that group. 

Bashundhara Kings defender Bishwanath Ghosh was the first one to test positive. He did not travel with the team to Ghazipur and remains in Dhaka. Bangladesh Police FC strikers MS Bablu and Nazmul Islam Rasel and Uttar Baridhara striker Suman Reza were then diagnosed with Covid-19 in the next batch of testing after their samples were examined at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital on Wednesday.

On Thursday, seven more footballers joined the bandwagon. They include defender Sushanta Tripura, winger Mohammad Ibrahim, goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel, midfielder Sohel Rana, Rabiul Hasan, goalkeeper Anisur Rahman and defender Tutul Hossain Badsha.

All the players had started their journey after carrying out a pre-requisite test in which the results came negative. 

“They are puzzled after getting today’s reports as they came with negative Covid-19 reports done from their respective areas,” said team manager Satyajit Das Rupu. All the affected players have been asked to travel back and after a week of isolation, they would again be tested. If the results come negative then they would be gradually integrated into the camp.

Skipper Jamal Bhuiyan and defender Tariq Raihan Kazi are still in Denmark and Finland respectively. Basundhara Kings have abstained midfielders Masuk Mia Jonny, Atiqur Rahman Fahad and striker Matin Miah from joining camp as they have fitness issues.