BAHRAIN have named a 29-player squad that will be preparing for their upcoming joint-qualifying matches for the Fifa World Cup 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup 2023.
The list was announced yesterday by the Bahrain Football Association (BFA).
The Bahrainis are scheduled to play at home against Iraq on September 5 and then travel to Phnom Penh for an away qualifier against Cambodia on September 10.
The senior men’s nationals are set to begin training for both matches this evening at the BFA pitches in Riffa under the supervision of head coach Helio Sousa and his staff.
The squad includes top names from Bahrain’s local clubs, as well as a handful of the kingdom’s internationals who play overseas, including Abdulla Yousuf who plays in the Czech Republic with SK Slavia Prague, Mohammed Al Hardan who plays in Denmark with Vejle Boldklub, and Sayed Dhiya Saeed from Al Nasr Kuwaiti in Kuwait.
The rest of the team features Jassim Al Shaikh (Al Ahli); Hamad Al Dosari (Al Hala); Ahmed Bu Ghammar, Mohammed Abdulwahab and Abdulwahab Al Maloud (Al Hidd); Sayed Mohammed Jaffar, Waleed Al Hayam, Ahmed Al Sherooqi and Ismaeel Abdullatif (Muharraq); Ahmed Abdulla and Ali Maden (Al Najma); Sayed Shubar Alawi, Sayed Redha Issa, Sayed Mahdi Baqer, Ali Haram, Komail Alaswad, Mohammed Marhoon and Sayed Hashem Issa (Riffa); Abdullah Al Hazza, Sami Al Hussaini, Hazza Ali and Mohammed Al Rumaihi (East Riffa); and Ahmed Nabil, Mohammed Adel, Issa Jihad and Isa Mousa (Manama).
A majority of the players are returning from the team that recently made history after winning the title in the ninth West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship, held earlier this month.
Bahrain are in Group ‘C’ for the joint-qualifiers, which are in the second round. The other teams in their division are Hong Kong and Iran.
There are eight groups in all, with five nations in each group.
In this round, teams play home and away matches. At the end of this phase, the eight group winners and the four best runners-up advance to the third round of Fifa World Cup qualifying, and also book their berths in the AFC Asian Cup 2023.
The next best 24 teams will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the Asian Cup.
Following Bahrain’s qualifiers next month, they next play on October 15 at home against Iran. They then travel to Hong Kong to play on November 14, before going to Iraq for another qualifier on November 19. That will be their last game for the calendar year.
The nationals resume their campaign on March 26 at home against Cambodia, and then play Iran away in their penultimate qualifier on June 4. Bahrain wrap up this stage at home with a match against Hong Kong on June 9.
Meanwhile, 24 players have been named for Bahrain’s under-23 Olympic team ahead of their upcoming matches. The squad, coached by Samir Ben Chammam, are also scheduled to begin their training tonight.
The roster comprises Salem Adel and Anwar Ahmed (Al Najma); Sayed Mohammed Amin and Ali Hassan Yahya (Sitra); Mahmood Al Hayki (Al Hala); Yusuf Habib (Al Malkiya); Abdul Aziz Al Kandari (Isa Town); Ammar Mohammed (Manama); Abbas Al Asfoor and Hassan Madan (Al Shabab); Hussein Al Khayyat and Jassim Khaleef (East Riffa); Abdul Aziz Khalid and Ibrahim Al Khattal (Qalali); Hamad Shamsan (East Riffa); Saud Al Assam , Faisal Ghazi and Adnan Fawaz (Riffa); and Hussein Jameel, Abdul Rahman Al Ahmadi, Hamza Al Jabn, Hassan Al Karrani, Ahmed Saleh and Faisal Ibrahim (Muharraq).