‘Kings want new faces for AFC’
The rumors and gossips started to swirl when Bashundhara Kings released their Costa Rican forward Daniel Colindres and Tajik defender Akhtam Nazarov. It became louder when they decided to release another of their foreign recruit, Kyrgyz midfielder Bakhtiyar Duyshobekov.
Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) champions are going to sign new faces for sure as they got the chance to form a new team before resuming the ongoing AFC Cup 2020 campaign.
Kings President Imrul Hassan said that they have target to form a strong team with a bunch of new foreigners for AFC Campaign, scheduled to resume on October.
“We have already released Colindres and Nazarov. The Tajik wasn’t registered for AFC. We also want to release Bakhtiyar if we get a good player in his place. We got a chance to form a new team with new foreign faces and have already shortlisted some ten to twelve foreigners. Hopefully, we’ll start talking with them from this week,” he told daily sun on Monday.
“We know there are some rumors coming out about Kings, we are really enjoying these. It is not appropriate time to disclose any name at this moment. As I said we will start to talk to them from this week. Let’s see. But, we will obviously recruit an Asian as per as AFC rules. He may be anyone, an Iraqi or an Australian. We are also eyeing some South American footballers,” he added.
According to the new ‘Centralised Format’ proposed by AFC, the group matches will be held from October 23 to November 4 at a neutral venue while Inter-zone playoff semifinals will be held on November 24 to November 25, Inter-zone playoff final will be held on December 2 and AFC Cup final will be held on December 12. The decision was taken in an online meeting with the participation of all three Competing Member Associations (MA) of Group E namely Bangladesh, India and Maldives.
BPL champions, who, has been playing for the first time in this club competition, want to start preparation camp from the first week of September.
“We await the official decision from AFC which is expected to be given at the end of this month. After that we will call Barcos. We may start our preparation camp from the first week of September,” said Kings President.
Kings suspended their camps on March. One of their key players Argentine Striker Hernan Barcos left Dhaka on March. Colindres left Dhaka on Tuesday while Nazarov and Bakhtiyar will wait for their flights. Another foreigner Argentine defender Nicholas Delmonte will continue his journey with the club.
Kings, which emerged champions in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2018-19, formed a 33-member strong team including 28 local players and 5 foreigners for the ongoing soccer season. The holders started the ongoing season clinching their maiden title in the curtain raiser Federation Cup 2019-20 on January and were in sixth slot securing 10 points three wins, one draw and three defeats before the suspension of BPL.
BPL Champions, have been placed in Group E (South Zone) along with Chennai City Football Club of India and two Maldivian clubs TC Sports Club, Maziya Sports and Recreation Club, also made a flying start in the AFC Cup 2020 outplaying Maldivian club TC Sports by 5-1 goals in the group opener on March. Teams played one match each on first match day on March 11 two days after AFC froze its ongoing season for indefinite period in the wake of the pandemic worldwide.