Bangladesh national football team suffered a double blow on Thursday when their manager Amer Khan and physio Fuad Hasan Hawlader tested positive for COVID-19 after all members of the team underwent tests a day after reaching Qatar.
Earlier on Wednesday, a 34-member Bangladesh national team including 25 players left for Doha without their main striker Nabib Newaz Jibon through injury and defender SM Monjurur Rahman Manik and head coach Jamie Day due to COVID-19 infections.
Bangladesh are scheduled to take on Qatar on December 4 in their 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint Qualifiers Group E match in Doha at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium.
Before the qualifier, Bangladesh will play two warm-up matches on November 25 and 28 against Qatar Premier League teams.
‘The manager and physio were tested positive but they have no symptoms. Both of them are staying in team hotel,’ said Bangladesh Football Federation general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag.
‘Because of COVID-19 cases, every member of the team is now in isolation at hotel. All will be tested again tomorrow [today]. If everything is all right, then we can start training.’
Assistant coach Stuart Watkiss, who is in charge of the team in the absence of Day, said that he would consult with the team officials today to find out a solution for training in this crisis situation.
‘I will speak to the physio and fitness trainer if they can come up with a programme the players can do in their rooms. It is not an ideal situation in terms of preparation because we can’t afford to miss any days of training for the build-up for the Qatar tie,’ said Watkiss through a video message sent by BFF.
Captain Jamal Bhuiyan said all team members of the squad remained mentally strong despite two coronavirus cases on Thursday.
‘Everyone is doing fine and staying in single rooms. We are in three-day quarantine but we are mentally fit. We are all safe and looking forward to start training.’
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