Kozhikode: Durand Cup 2019 winners Gokulam Kerala FC are all set to face Bangladesh Premier League champions Bashundhara Kings in the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup at MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong on October 22.
I-League heavyweights Mohun Bagan and the current I-League champions Chennai City FC are also taking part in the tournament. Malabarians accepted a late invite from the organisers of the AFC-recognised tournament to become the first club in the history of Kerala to take part in an AFC-recognised meet, a club statement said.
The tournament is being organised by Chittagong Abahoni, a club based in Chittagong, and the Bangladesh Football Federation. Gokulam are in group 'B' along with Bashundhara Kings, I League champions Chennai City FC and Malaysian club Terengganu Football Club.
The tournament has started on October 19 and the teams 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," Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Fernando Santiago Varela was quoted as saying by their media release.
"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 ATerengganu Football Club (Malaysia)