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04th-Sep-2018

SAFF Suzuki Cup kicks off in city today

By UNB, DHAKA

Dhaka is ready for a soccer buzz of hosting the 12th version of the seven-nation SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 that kicks-off on today at the country's premier and traditional sports venue-Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
Pakistan, which returned to the international football after about four years for local and international (FIFA) ban, will play Nepal in the opening match on Tuesday at 4 pm while Bangladesh will play Bhutan in the opening day's 2nd match at 7 pm in a hope to take revenge of their frustrating 1-3 goals defeat against them in 2016.
Hosts Bangladesh was placed in Group A of the biggest soccer festival of the region (SAFF Championship) with Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan while holders India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka were placed in Group B of the seven-nation meet.
All the six foreign teams are already in the capital to compete in the South Asian Mini World Cup and made their practices on Monday.
In a pre-tournament press conference at the BFF House on Monday, the Head Coach and Captain of six participating teams except India, gave details of their preparations and disclosed their ultimate target.
The logo of the tournament was ceremonially unveiled at the function at the BFF House Monday afternoon.
The BFF President Kazi Salahuddin, who is also President of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) said this edition of the SAFF Chapionships will be the most competitive ever.
Speaking in the logo unveiling ceremony of the seven-nation meet, the SAFF supremo was in a buoyant mood. "As far I know, all participating teams have worked hard to prepare them for the tournament, and the preparations are based on professional approach, all the teams are eager to mark their presence in the field"
"So I think there will be fierce rivalry in the pitch making this edition the most competitive one," Salahuddin added.
Anontex Group, the reputed garments industries placed their name in the logo as the "SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018, "Powered by" Anontex Group.
Anwarul Islam Ferdous, the Director of Anontex, BFF Senior Vice President Abdus Salam Murshedy, Director of Anontex Group M. Anwarul Islam Ferdous, Advisor of Anontex Group Shyamal Dutta, BFF General Secretary Abu Naeem Shohag and SM Nawaz Shohag, the CEO of Adtouch were also present on the occasion.
Earlier, the trophy of the 12th SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 was unveiled on Sunday at the Uttara Motors Office in Tejgaon area of the capital.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) on Monday announced a 20-member final squad of the Bangladesh National Football team for the 12th SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 beginning on Tuesday (Sept 4) at the country's premier sports venue-Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
But the name of Bangladesh captain was disclosed on the function. Bangladesh Head Coach Jamie Day gave a clarification on the issue and saying, "every players of the Bangladesh team is our captain, and we may choose different captain for the different matches.
The BFF announced the Bangladesh squad making one change in Jamie Day's 20-member team to comply with the SAFF rules including 3rd goal keeper Anisur Rahman in the team dropping Rabiul Hasan in the dying moment.
Earlier on Saturday, Jamie Day finalized a 20-member Bangladesh squad for the ensuing SAFF Championship after conducting a four month long training camp in home and aboard and informed it to the players on the day.
Nine players -Zafor Iqbal, Motin Mia, Rahmat Mia, Abdullah, Anisur Rahman, Majurur Rahman, Mahfuz Hasan Pritom, Fazle Rabbi and Rabiuil Hasan -were excluded from the previous squad while former national skipper Mamunul Islam Mamun, Waly Faisal, Faisal Mahmud, Shahkawat Ronny, Emon Mahmud, Sohel Rana and Nasiruddin Chowdhury are considered in the team as senior players.
Bangladesh squad: Ashraful Islam Rana, Shahidul Alam Sohel, Anisur Rahman, Topu Barman, Nasiruddin Chowdhury, Bishwanath Ghosh, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Waly Faisal, Susanta Tripura, Masuk Miah Zony, Mamunul Islam Mamun, Emon Mahmud Babu, Faisal Mahmud, Sohel Rana, Biplu Ahmed, Atiqul Islam Fahad, Jamal Bhuiyan, Shahkawat Hossain Rony, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil and Saaduddin.