The national team management has been forced to delay the team's return to training after four national footballers tested positive for Covid-19. The original first batch of 12 footballers has now shrunk to eight, who will be kept under surveillance for three days instead of starting training yesterday, as originally scheduled, at Gazipur's Sarah Resorts.
The 12 members were supposed to be divided into two groups on the first day of low-intensity training, after a four-and-a-half month break due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the positive results scuppered those plans.
"Our initial plan was to make two groups of six each to train under a coach in separate sessions but we have instead planned to keep eight players of the first batch in four separate groups of two each. We want to observe them for three days from Thursday to Saturday to see whether they exhibit any symptoms of coronavirus as they were with those who tested positive on Wednesday," said national team manager Satyajit Das Rupu.
Yesterday, the second batch, comprising another 12 footballers, underwent the Covid-19 test under the supervision of the Bangladesh Football Federation for the preparation camp ahead of the World Cup and Asian Cup Qualifiers.
"If the second batch are found all negative, they will leave for Gazipur tonight [Thursday] and start their training separately from tomorrow [Friday]," said Rupu. "For now, coach Jamie Day doesn't want to call up new players; he wants to wait till the results of the last batch of footballers who will take the test on Saturday, instead of Friday."
It has been learnt that eight footballers of the first batch have been a bit of anxious after MS Bablu, Nazmul Islam and Suman Reza, who had been with them on Wednesday, tested positive. It has also been learnt that Bishwanath Ghosh tested negative in second test but will still be kept away for another week before taking the BFF-initiated test.