Iran, Bangladesh friendly called off

July 29, 2019

TEHRAN – The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has changed its mind to play a FIFA friendly against Iran.

The Southeast Asian team wanted to play Iran on Sept. 5 in Doha, but Iran wanted the match two days later, just three day before Bangladesh against Afghanistan match. That is why BFF decided not to play against the top-ranked Asian nation.

“We will have a friendly, but not against Iran. We want to try continue getting up in the FIFA [Rankings] and playing Iran would have not value in that because they would be too good,” Bangladesh coach Jamie Day said.

Iran, who have been drawn in Group C along with Iraq, Bahrain, Cambodia and Hong Kong at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

Team Melli will start the campaign with a match against Hong Kong, slated for Sept. 10.

Bangladesh are in Group E along with Oman, India, Afghanistan and Qatar.

“Nepal have expressed their desire to play a match in Dhaka within the next 8 to 10 days, but we are not in a position to host them at the moment and we are working on fixing the opposition -- either a country or clubs -- for friendly matches.  Everything will be finalized within a few days,” said BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag.

The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals and the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

The next best 24 teams from the second round of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

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