A 32-member Bangladesh National Football team left the capital for Qatar Friday to play in the next month's Group E 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers.
Bangladesh team left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for Doha at 11am on a Qatar Airlines flight with 23 players and nine officials.
Two footballers of the team – Mohammad Ibrahim and Mahbubur Rahman Sufil – failed to accompany the Qatar-bound team as they reportedly tested Covid-19 positive.
Bangladesh will play against Afghanistan, India and Oman in their remaining three Group E qualifiers on June 4, 7 and 15 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Qatar's Doha.
Earlier, national team captain Jamal Bhuiyan expressed dissatisfaction over the failure of the Bangladesh Football Federation to arrange practice matches in Saudi Arabia.
Bangladesh football team was supposed to leave for Saudi Arabia last Monday on a five-day visit for training and to play a couple of warm-up matches as part of their preparation for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Bangladesh football team leave for Qatar
But, the tour was cancelled just hours before the team's departure as the football federation did not receive a quarantine exemption letter from Saudi Arabia on time.
Bangladesh's rivals Afghanistan and India have already started their preparations in Qatar.
Meanwhile, just a day before their departure, Bangladesh national team played a preparatory match with former Bangladesh Premier League champions Sheikh Jamal DC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium Thursday and settled for a 2-2 draw.
Goal-keeper: Md Shahidul Alam, Rasel Mahmud and Anisur Rahman Zico
Defender: Md Rahmat Miya, Topu Barman, Riyadul Hasan, Yeasin Arafat, Rimon Hossain, Mehadi Hasan, Habibur Rahman Shohag, Tariq Raihan Kazi and Mohammad Emon
Midfielder: Jamal Bhuyan, Mohammad Abdullah, Masuk Miya Zoni, Sohel Rana, Biplu Ahmed, Md Matin Miah, Rakib Hossain, Manik Hossain Mollah and Md Mehadi Hasan
Source: United News of Bangladesh