Kozhikode, October 20: Durand Cup winners Gokulam Kerala FC are all set to face Bangladesh Premier League champions Bashundhara Kings in an exciting encounter of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup 2019 at MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong on October 22.
Malabarians accepted a late invite from the organisers of the AFC-recognized tournament to become the first club in the history of Kerala to take part in an AFC-recognized tournament.
The tournament is organised by Chittagong Abahoni, a club based in Chittagong, and Bangladesh Football Federation.
Gokulam Kerala FC are in the group ‘B’ along with Bashundhara Kings, I League champions Chennai City FC and Malaysian club Terengganu Football Club.
The tournament started on October19 and the team members have already left for Bangladesh.
Malabarians will lock horns with Terengganu Football Club on October 24 and play I-league champions Chennai City FC in their last group match on October 26. Only the group winners and runners up will proceed to the knockout round.
All the matches will be live on facebook and telecast by Bangla TV.
“We were playing pre-season friendly matches in the last two weeks against ISL teams. We did too much effort. It is good for us, because for this tournament we can start with a good prepared team. The tournament can help us to learn more about how much we will have to improve before the start of the I League,” said Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Fernando Santiago Varela.
“I am proud to see Gokulam taking part in the prestigious tournament. This is the first time a club from Kerala is getting such an opportunity. We accepted the invitation in a short notice. But the boys are ready for a new challenge and we will try to maintain the expectations of our fans,” said Gokulam Gopalan, the chairman of the Gokulam Kerala FC.
Group A: TC Sports Club (Maldives), Mohun Bagan, Young Elephant (Laos) and Chittagong Abahoni.
Group B: Gokulam Kerala FC, Bashundhara Kings, Chennai City FC, and Terengganu Football Club (Malaysia),
About Sheikh Kamal International Cup
Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup 2019 was started in the year 2015, in memory of Sheikh Kamal, the eldest son of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the former president of Bangladesh. The tournament is organised by Chittagong Abahoni FC, a club based in Bangladesh and Bangladesh Football Association. Chittagong Abahoni and TC Sports Club from Maldives are the former champions in the years 2015 and 2017. The most successful Indian club in the tournament is East Bengal, where they finished runners-up in the first edition of the cup.