Monday, April 20, 2009

A look at the booters

In trying to drum up a bit more interest in the forthcoming football international matches that Cambodia will be involved in at the end of this week, I've been searching the internet about the preparations of the host nation for the AFC Challenge Cup qualifying matches, Bangladesh. In fact the booters of Bangladesh as they are known, have just won a friendly match in Nepal against a club side in the lead up to the games, under their new Brazilian coach Dido, and an Argentine trainer. Meanwhile, the nation's football federation are trying to generate home support by selling the Bangladesh football jersey to fans, releasing tens of thousands of leaflets and putting up five billboards in the city of Dhaka, as well as two large television screens. All six games will be played at the 36,000 capacity Bangabandhu National Stadium in the city, but I've no idea whether they will be televised and available for viewing in Cambodia. All of the visiting teams will be staying at the 5-star Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. And of course, it's the hot season right now in Bangladesh, so the Cambodian team can expect red-hot temperatures for their afternoon kick-offs (isn't it strange that all the host nation games start at the later time of 6pm).

The Qualifying group matches are as follows:
April 26: Myanmar vs Macau 3.30pm
Cambodia vs Bangladesh 6pm
April 28: Macau vs Cambodia 3.30pm
Bangladesh vs Myanmar 6pm
April 30: Myanmar vs Cambodia 3.30pm
Bangladesh vs Macau 6pm.

The AFC Challenge Cup group matches being played now, will provide the final qualifiers for the 2010 Cup competition proper. Four group winners and the best runners-up will join 2008 defending champions India, runners-up Tajikistan and North Korea in the tournament that is played every two years. Already joining them are group winners Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan.



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