Millennium Post

Win against India will change Bangladesh football: Jamal

Kolkata: Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuyan on Monday said his team is relishing the challenge of producing an upset win against favourites India, something which will give a big boost to the sport in the cricket-crazy country.

Bangladesh football is in dire need of investment and sponsorship as there is lack of academy, equipment and the league is also not properly structured.

Bhuyan is hoping to bring a change in Bangladesh football by outsmarting the hosts India in front of a sellout crowd at the Saltlake Stadium on Tuesday.

"If we win something will change in Bangladesh football. India have big companies supporting the sport but we lack in investment. So it's a great opportunity to change that by showcasing what we have and attract big investments," he said.

A sellout crowd is expected here as India will play their first International in Kolkata after eight years when they take on Bangladesh, who are ranked 83 places below in the FIFA rankings.

Bhuyan said his team is ready to break the hearts of home fans in their World Cup group qualifier.

"No pressure on us, the pressure is on India as if they don't win the fans will be after them," he said.

"I am going to tell my boys to go there and give their best. But yes India are favourites. I am going to break the India hearts tomorrow," the Danish-born Bangladeshi captain said on the eve of the match.

Sunil Chhetri will be back to lead the side after sitting out against Qatar where Gurpreet Singh Sandhu led the side with the defence putting up an impeccable show in their goalless draw.

Bhuyan, a defensive midfielder, said the contest will centre around the midfield.

"This a big game because we have a history between the two countries and all the players from both camps are eager to play this game. Whoever wins the midfield battle has the better chance to win the match," said the 29-year-old.

While India drew against Qatar in an away match, Bangladesh lost to the Asian

champions 0-2 after putting up a valiant fight.

"We missed many chances against Qatar. Even I missed some. But it is part of the game sometimes you win sometimes you lose. We have to be dedicated. We are improving and I see a bright future for Bangladesh. At the moment we have great confidence," Bhuyan said.

Bangladesh coach Jamie Day also agreed that the team is all pumped up to put up a good fight against India.

"I am very excited and happy to be here in the 'City of Joy, the Mecca of Indian football'. Everyone is so excited to be here. If I were a player I would have looked forward to play in front of such a crowd," he said. agencies

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