Bangladesh will not get the home ground advantage as their remaining 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers matches will be held in Qatar, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said today.
Bangladesh have three more matches left in the joint qualifiers of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup which was supposed to be held on their own soil but the AFC has set a specific venue for each group.
The Bangladesh national football team placed in group E. Due to the Covid-19 situation, all the remaining matches of this group will now be played in Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup. The other three teams in this group are India, Afghanistan and Oman.
The AFC said in a statement informed that the rest of the World Cup qualifying round matches will be held at the designated venue. This decision has been taken on the basis of discussions with the member countries. The qualifying round will be held from May 31 to June 15.
According to the new fixture, Bangladesh will take on Afghanistan on June 3 before facing India on June 7 and finishing their campaign with their match against Oman on June 15.
Bangladesh placed at the bottom-ranked of Group E with one point from five matches while Qatar topped the table with 16 points from six matches.
Oman stand at second position with 12 points from five matches. As per the new schedule, Bangladesh will take on Afghanistan on June 3, meet India on June 7 and play the last group match against Oman on June 15 in their remaining group matches.
Bangladesh played four matches in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers and Asian Cup. Their away match against Afghanistan took place in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. After playing against Qatar at home, Bangladesh played their away match against India in Kolkata. After their away match against Oman in Muscat, Bangladesh's rest matches were scheduled to take place in March and June last year but due to the Covid-19 pandemic across the globe, Bangladesh's remaining matches were postponed.
In December last year, Bangladesh accepted Qatar's invitation and played the away match against them in Doha. But, there were doubts about the remaining three matches against Afghanistan, India, and Oman.
The boys in red and green were scheduled to play the qualifying match against Afghanistan later this month. As the match has been postponed so
Jamal Bhuiyan and Co. are going to play a tri-national tournament in Nepal.
Apart from Bangladesh, the host Nepal and Kyrgyzstan U-23 team are going to participate in the tournament to be held in Kathmandu.
The tournament will start on March 23 and will continue till March 29. In this league-based tournament, each team will face each other once. The top two teams will play in the final.