Will Bangladesh's national football team play the upcoming SAFF Championship under the guidance of new coach?

The demand to replace incumbent head coach Jamie Day is getting stronger and the Bangladesh Football Federation's (BFF's) executive committee seriously discussed the issue yesterday, with a decision likely to come at the meeting of the National Teams Committee (NTC) today.

"The majority of the members present at the meeting expressed disappointment over the national team's performances and opined that Jamie Day should be replaced ahead of the SAFF Championship. The BFF president said at the meeting that he had been working with the national team and had accompanied the team during the Kyrgyzstan tour but said that the final decision about whether to replace Jamie would come within a couple of days," a BFF executive member, seeking anonymity, told The Daily Star after yesterday's meeting.

Since August 2018, the 41-year-old British coach has steered the team to nine wins, five draws and 15 defeats in 29 matches. Bangladesh were eliminated from the group stages of the 2018 SAFF Championship by virtue of goal difference despite securing six points, as many as Nepal and Pakistan.

"We discussed giving Jamie a new role of developing youth players because he has another year left on his contract. Meanwhile, names of local coaches like Maruful Haque, Saiful Bari Titu and Shafiqul Islam Manik along with foreign coaches at the club level have been touted as possible replacements for Jamie," the executive committee member added.

It was also learned that BFF president Kazi Salahuddin had a long meeting with NTC chairman Kazi Nabil Ahmed on Wednesday to discuss whether to strip Jamie of his responsibility.

When contacted, the BFF president refused to comment, only saying that the NTC would take a decision regarding the head coach of the national team.

Salahuddin previously expressed dissatisfaction over the performances of the national team during the Tri-Nation Cup in Nepal, where they suffered a 0-2 loss to Nepal in the final and decided to engage with the national team in the middle of August. He then toured with the national team for the Three Nations Cup in Kyrgyzstan, where Bangladesh lost all three matches against Palestine, a Kyrgyzstan U-23 side and Kyrgyzstan, a heavy 4-1 defeat against whom saw Bangladesh slip another place to 189th in the FIFA Rankings.


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