The Bangladesh footballers will be out of international action until the SAFF Championship takes place in December next year, thanks to Bangladesh Football Federation's (BFF) decision to drop the Bangabandhu Gold Cup from its calendar for the next four years.
Failing to move into the final phase of Asian Cup Qualifiers means Bangladesh will get no FIFA or AFC sanctioned matches for nearly two and a half years until the qualifying rounds of the 2022 Qatar World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup starts in 2019.
Bangladesh's lone opportunity to play international matches will be in invitational tournaments play FIFA friendly matches, while there is no mention in the draft master about the Bangabadhu Gold Cup, which was in 2015 and 2016.
“We have neither dropped it [Bangabadhu Gold Cup] nor included it in the calendar. We are working on which slot can the tournament be accommodated in the calendar,” BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag said.