Youth hockey team’s preparation camp likely to begin from Oct. 1

DHAKA – The youth hockey team’s preparation camp ahead of the Bangabandhu U-21 men’s Junior Asia Cup Hockey will likely begin from October 1.

“We have fixed a tentative date for the youth hockey team’s preparation camp…. the tentative date of the camp is October 1 … we are trying to arrange the camp at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) because we’ll have to arrange the camp with a isolated way due to COVID-19 situation,“ said the Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) acting general secretary Mohammad Yousuf told BSS today.

“We could arrange the camp in BHF but if any player leaves the camp and spreads the virus in the camp, then it will be difficult to handle the situation … So I think BKSP will be the best place to arrange the camp because the players will be there in an isolated way .. and all players will go through a COVID-19 test before the start of the camp,” Yousuf said.

The BHF general secretary informed that they would go to BKSP on Sunday (September 6) to discuss with BKSP director general with the camp. If it is not possible to arrange camp in BKSP, the federation would then take alternative decisions in the executive committee’s meeting on September 15.

Replying to a question he said they would probably call the thirty six players, who were earlier picked up for the camp.

Meanwhile, there will be no barrier as the eight hockey players, who had age complexities problems due to the postponement of the tournament, will be able to play in the Bangabandhu U-21 men’s Junior Asia Cup Hockey after the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) verbally confirmed the BHF. However, the BHF yet to get any official confirmation till the date (Thursday), informed Yousuf.

The tournament was earlier scheduled to hold on June 4-14 this year but the problem has aroused as the tournament had been postponed and shifted to January next due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, the AHF informed that the players, whose age are within twenty one year till December 31, 2020, will only be able to take part in the tournament scheduled for March next year. But now as per the special permission which the AHF got from International Hockey Federation, players born after January 1, 1999, will be able to participate in the January next year’s U-21 Asia Cup Hockey.

The BHF will host the Bangabandhu Men’s Junior Asia Cup Hockey scheduled to be held on 21-30 January next at Moulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium in the city.

The ten countries are Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan, India, Oman, Japan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Pakistan and host Bangladesh.

Among the ten countries top six teams – Bangladesh, India, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea and Malaysia — of last tournament will directly play this year’s tournament while remaining four teams — China, Chinese Taipei , Oman and Uzbekistan – have come after participating in the selection round held in Oman last year.

The top three countries of the Junior Asia Cup will qualify for the next edition of Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup.BSS