Bangladesh Football Federation has decided to hold Covid-19 test again at two different hospitals in Dhaka Monday, each member twice on the same day, as curiosity arose about the authenticity of the report because of the threat of “false positive” result
All members of the Bangladesh men’s national football team must go through double check-ups at two different spots Monday to re-affirm their Covid-19 status before they are allowed to join preliminary practice camp for the World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifiers, scheduled in October and November.
A total of 29 players out of 36 gave their Covid-19 test in three small groups in as many days – Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday – at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
Among them, 18 results came out Covid-19 positive, although majority of them claimed that their previous report from respective localities showed negative only two-three days ago.
Bangladesh Football Federation has decided to hold Covid-19 test again at two different hospitals in the capital, each member twice on the same day, as curiosity arose about the authenticity of the report because of the threat of “false positive” result.
The decision came after a virtual meeting of national team committee Saturday afternoon headed by its chairman Kazi Nabil Ahmed.
“It happens often that results are false positive. We are aware of this. The players have to pass two new tests from two institutions before joining the practice camp, while Covid-19 positive players will be isolated,” Nabil told reporters after the meeting.
After the first day of reporting it was informed that eight booters out of 11 tested negative, but two days later Friday it was corrected as seven, along with assistant coach Masud Parvez Kaiser, were eventually found as Covid-19 positive.
Dr. Ali Imran, acting chairman of BFF medical committee, explained, “It happened due to transmission technical error. We didn’t get their report, instead the result was sent elsewhere. We can’t do anything with technical fault. BFF was informed immediately after getting the final report from BSMMU.”
As many as seven players and one coach went to the residential camp at Sarah Resort in Sreepur, Gazipur, raising concern of spreading the virus to the other members, leaving BFF with not many options but to retest.
“Whoever tested positive in both reports would be confirmed positive and vice versa. If one gets one positive and one negative, then he has to do another test few days later,” said Nabil.
Head coach Jamie Day along with assistant coach Stuart Watkiss are scheduled to land in Dhaka on August 17 from the United Kingdom, and they also have to go through Covid-19 test before joining the camp.
Finnish expatriate footballer Tariq Kazi is scheduled to arrive two days later.
Captain Jamal Bhuiyan has to wait till August 30 before getting permission of leaving Denmark.
Nabil however, hopes to start the training camp by August 23.
“The players showed no symptoms. I hope those who tested positive will get well soon. Then camp starts after consultation with medical committee. If needed replacement for three-four players will also be considered. We have to observe if they are fit for practice,” said Nabil.
Bangladesh resume their joint qualifying campaign by hosting Afghanistan on October 8 in Sylhet.
Nabil replied to a different query, “It is being discussed with coach if six-week preparation is enough before the game. We anticipated such situation so we took the initiative early enough step by step from Wednesday.”
As many as 24 booters and five officials completed their tests in the first two days, while the remaining six players – Mamunul Islam, Ashraful Islam Rana, Topu Barman, Rayhan Hasan, Yeasin Khan, Towhidul Alam Sabuj - and team manager Satyajit Das Rupu, who gave their samples Saturday, all tested negative.
Covid-19 positive footballers: Bishwanath Ghosh, Nazmul Islam Rasel, Mathews Bablu, Sumon Reza, Faisal Ahmed Fahim, Manik Hossain, Monjurur Rahman, Mohammad Abdullah, Yeasin Arafat, Biplo Ahmed, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Anisur Rahman Zico, Sushanta Tripura, Rabiul Hasan, Shahidul Alam, Sohel, Sohel Rana, Mohammad Ibrahim, Tutul Hossain Badshah, Masud Parvez (coach)
COVID-19 THREAT AT NATIONAL CAMP
Total tests (at BSMMU): 29 players and 6 officials
Positive: 18 players and 1 official
Negative: 11 players and 5 officials
Percentage of positive tests: 62% (players) and 54.3% (overall)
NATIONAL TEAM COMMITTEE DECISIONS
* All players, officials to undergo Covid-19 test twice at two different hospitals tomorrow.
* All members to stay isolated at the residential camp after the second test.
* Head coach Jamie Day to arrive in Dhaka from London on August 17.
* Captain Jamal Bhuiyan is scheduled to arrive on August 31 and Finland-born defender Tariq Kazi on August 19.