BAHRAIN’S under-23 Olympic football team stepped up their preparations yesterday for the start of their campaign in the men’s football tournament of the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.
The Bahrainis’ first game tomorrow will be against defending gold-medallists South Korea in Group ‘E’, which also features Kyrgyzstan and Malaysia.
They then play Kyrgyzstan on Friday and Malaysia on Monday next week.
Head coach Samir ben Chammam continued their training last night and also had a technical meeting with the players in a local hotel.
Olympic team director Shaikh Ahmed bin Isa Al Khalifa visited the squad during their preparations and said that the team is looking forward to the start of action.
He added that the Asian Games will provide invaluable experience for the players.
There are six groups in all in the preliminary round of the men’s football tournament. Play has already begun in a number of the divisions.
Group ‘A’ features Palestine, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Laos and hosts Indonesia. Group ‘B’ includes Thailand, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and Qatar. Group ‘C’ comprises the UAE, China, Timor-Leste and Syria. Group ‘D’ features Japan, Vietnam, Pakistan and Nepal. Group ‘F’ consists of 2014 silver-medallists North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Myanmar.
The top two teams from each group advance directly to the quarter-finals after the preliminaries.