Dhaka -A 23-member Bangladesh National Football team will leave the capital for Sylhet on Friday afternoon by a Bangladesh Biman flight to compete in the six-nation 5th Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament beginning at Sylhet District Stadium on Monday (October 1).The group matches of the 12-day of the heavy weight International Football Tournament of the country will begin in Sylhet, but, later it will also held at two other venues-Bir Shrestha Ruhul Amin Stadium in Cox’s Bazar and Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka
Hosts Bangladesh will play Laos in the opening match on Monday at 6:30 pm (local time).
Six teams-split into two groups– will initially compete in the first phase in Sylhet from Oct 1-6 al at 6:30 pm.
Participating teams are: Group A – holders Nepal, Palestine and Tajikistan Group B – Laos, Philippines and hosts Bangladesh.
Later, top two teams from each of two groups will play in the semifinals in Cox’s Bazar on October 9 and 10 and the final match billed for Oct 12 at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
Earlier, the glittering trophy of the tournament ceremonially unveiled at a local hotel on Saturday.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed graced the trophy unveiling ceremony as chief guest at a grand function at the Pan Pacific Hotel Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to be the chief in the final on October 12 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
Fixture of Group matches: Oct 1: Bangladesh vs Laos Oct 2: Nepal vs Tajikistan Oct 3: Laos vs Philippines Oct 4: Tajikistan vs Palestine Oct 5: Bangladesh vs Philippines Oct 6: Palestine vs Nepal
Meanwhile, the BFF announced a 23 member squad for the tournament excluding eight players of the preliminarily announced 31-member squad.
They are goal keeper Mahfuzur Rahman Pritom, defenders Sushanta Tripura, Nasiruddin Chowdhury, Ariful Islam, medio Mohammad Saaduddin, Sohel Rana, Faisal Mahmood and forward Shakawat Hossain Rony excluded from the final squad.
Final squad of Bangladesh team: Ashraful Islam Rana, Anisur Rahman, Rasel Mahmud, (Goal Keeper), Bishwanath Ghosh, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Topu Barman, Waly Faisal, Rahmat Miah, Yeasin Khan, (Defender), Mamunul Islam Mamun, Atiqur Rahman Fahad, Jamal Bhuiyan, Masuk Miah Zoni, Biplo Ahmed, Emon Mahmud (Mid-Fielder), Rabiul Hasan, Jafar Iqbal, Mohammad Ibrahim (Winger), Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Nabib Newaz Jibon, Towhidul Alam Sabuz, Motin Miah and Jabed Khan (Forward).UNB