BAHRAIN head coach Helio Sousa of Portugal last night finalised his senior men’s national team of 23 players for their two upcoming joint-qualifying matches for the Fifa World Cup 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup 2023.
The Bahrainis are scheduled to host Iraq on Thursday at the National Stadium in Riffa and then fly to Phnom Penh for an away qualifier against Cambodia on September 10.
The squad list was announced last night by the Bahrain Football Association (BFA) after Sousa chopped six players from the 29 who were under training.
The six players who were not included were Sayed Hashem Issa and Mohammed Marhoon of Riffa, Hazza Ali and Mohammed Al Rumaihi of East Riffa, Ahmed Al Sherooqi of Muharraq and Isa Mousa of Manama.
The squad conisists of Abdulla Yousuf (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic); Mohammed Al Hardan (Vejle Boldklub, Denmark); Sayed Dhiya Saeed (Al Nasr Kuwaiti, Kuwait); 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 and Ismaeel Abdullatif (Muharraq); Ahmed Abdulla and Ali Maden (Al Najma); Sayed Shubar Alawi, Sayed Redha Issa, Sayed Mahdi Baqer, Ali Haram and Komail Alaswad (Riffa); Abdullah Al Hazza and Sami Al Hussaini (East Riffa); and Ahmed Nabil, Mohammed Adel and Issa Jihad (Manama).
Ahead of Thursday’s match, the nationals continued their training programme yesterday under Sousa.
Bahrain, Iraq and Cambodia are in Group ‘C’ of the qualifiers along with Iran and Hong Kong.
Following the two upcoming qualifiers, the nationals play on October 15 at home against Iran before travelling to Hong Kong to play on November 14. They then go to Iraq for another qualifier on November 19, which 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.
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.