Holders Palestine are confident of retaining their Bangabandhu Gold Cup title in the forthcoming sixth edition of the competition, which begins at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The defending champions will begin their Group A campaign against hosts Bangladesh in the opening match of the six-nation competition. Sri Lanka are the other team of the group.
The Group B is comprised of East African nations -- Mauritius, Burundi and Seychelles.
In the last edition, Palestine defeated Bangladesh 2-0 in the semi-finals before beating Tajikistan in the final by 4-3 goals on penalties after the stipulated and extra-time ended goalless.
‘We are the defending champions and we want to return home with the trophy again,’ said Palestine manager Jaber Jaarrin upon the team’s arrival in Bangladesh on Monday.
‘It is also a part of our preparation for our FIFA World Cup qualifiers match against Singapore.’
Jaber also informed that their team included eight players who are playing in the FIFA-AFC Joint qualification and nine players from the Under-23 team. Palestine striker Tahir Jbbuir echoed the manager. ‘We have come here to be champions,’ said Tahir.
Tahir informed that they have good knowledge about the Bangladesh team as there are some players in their current squad who played in the last edition of the tournament.
Apart from Palestine, Mauritius also arrived in the city in the afternoon.
Sri Lanka and Burundi are scheduled to arrive today while Seychelles will arrive on Thursday, a day after the tournament starts.
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