Bangladesh’s head coach, Javier Cabrera, has named a preliminary roster of 27 players for the two forthcoming FIFA international friendlies, despite the absence of the country’s leading scorer, Nabib Newaj Jibon.
Bangladesh is set to face Cambodia on September 22 before facing Nepal on September 27. The players have been ordered to report to team manager Iqbal Hossain tomorrow in preparation for Saturday’s training session at the Police Ground in Uttara, Dhaka.
The local football fraternity had already anticipated Jibon — the top-scorer among the local players in the just-concluded domestic season, in which he struck nine goals — to remain unpicked on disciplinary grounds again, following his failure to report timely during the Asian Cup Qualifiers. However, coach Cabrera justified Jibon’s exclusion by prioritizing on team’s interest.
“We know exactly what we want and the type of athletes we want in the game. We went over our prospective list of players and made a selection, which is reflected in this list. We believe this [squad] roster is more appropriate for our game concept “Cabrera informed reporters at today’s official press conference at the BFF House.
The 37-year-old Spaniard, on the other hand, brought in a new face in forward Emon Shahriar of Mohammedan Sporting Club while recalling the fit-again Tariq Raihan Kazi, Masuk Mia Jonny, Suman Reza, Matin Mia, and Hemanta Vincent Bishwas, who were not part of the national set-up during the Asian Cup Qualifiers.
Meanwhile, midfielder Sohel Rana and goalkeeper Mahfuz Hasan Pritom have returned to the preliminary squad, while Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Jafar Iqbal, Papon Singh, and Miraz Hossain were left out of the team that competed in the Asian Cup Qualifiers in June.
Squad: Anisur Rahman Zico, Yeasin Arafat, Bishwanath Ghosh, Tariq Raihan Kazi, Rimon Hossain, Sohel Rana, Atiqur Rahman Fahad, Masuk Mia Jonny, Biplo Ahmed, Mohammad Ibrahim, Suman Reza, Matin Mia, Mahfuz Hasan Pritom, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Rakib Hossain, Riyadul Hasan, Jamal Bhuiyan, Faisal Ahmed Fahim, Sazzad Hossain, Ashraful Islam Rana, Rahmat Mia, Hemanto Vincent Bishwas, Mohammad Nayeem, Raihan Hasan, Emon Shahriar, Sohel Rana Jr and Isa Faysal.