Bashundhara Kings, a football team from Bangladesh, has finally got its visa for the AFC Cup group stage match against Mohun Bagan Super Giant at the Kalinga Stadium on October 24, Sportstar can confirm.
Earlier in the day, the club had released a statement declaring that it would not be able to play the match against the Kolkata-based outfit due to “lack of communication and helpfulness” from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Indian Embassy of Bangladesh on this issue.
“We have already booked our tickets and the flight is on 22 October 2023 which was informed to all parties in due time. Our accommodation is also booked. All these bookings were made with advance payment and now it is not possible to change them so as to have a new set of tickets of such high volume in unlikely at the late stage,” the letter read.
“If we do not receive the visa by 21 October 2023, we will be unable to fly to India to take part in the match between Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Bashundhara Kings.”
The issue was finally resolved around 9 p.m. on the same day as visas for the travelling contingent were finally issued.
The Bangladesh side were supposed to reach this morning as per the tournament guidelines, but they could not board the flight from Dhaka after failing to get visas on time.
“We have got visa late at 8pm today. It’s festive season and getting tickets for 40 people is becoming difficult,” club president Mohammad Imrul Hassan told PTI from Dhaka.
“Our team is trying its best to arrange the tickets. We are hopeful of making it and reaching Bhubaneswar on the eve of the match.” The Bangladesh club wanted a double-entry visa because it has to play two matches in India but the AIFF had given an invitation for single entry, for which the national federation, according to sources, cannot be faulted.
Bashundhara Kings is drawn in Group D with Odisha FC, Mohun Bagan and Maldivian side, Maziya in the AFC Cup. It has played two games in the tournament so far, winning one game, against Odisha, and losing the other, against Maziya.
(with inputs from PTI)
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