Bahrain head coach Helio Sousa is pleased that the Kingdom was selected as the centralized venue to host the national team’s remaining joint-qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 later this June.
He noted, however, that wherever they would have needed to play, the Bahrainis would still be giving their full effort. “It is what it is; it is good we will stay home, but we already did good work and good results in Bahrain and outside of Bahrain,” Sousa was quoted as saying.
“We will deal with what we have.” The Portuguese tactician is hopeful that the current health situation improves by then and fans will be able to attend those matches. He noted that a scheme could be put in place that is similar to one that allows for spectators at the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2021 this upcoming weekend. “It is good to play at home; with fans, even better,” Sousa said.
“We hope at that time it will be possible for it to happen—similar with what will happen with Formula 1—that it will be possible to execute the same situation in June with the football and other sports too.” The June matches include postponed qualifiers that were supposed to be held this month.
Aside from Bahrain, Group C also includes Iraq, Iran, Hong Kong and Cambodia. Sousa admits that presently it would have been difficult for the competing national teams to go through with their scheduled games. “It is very difficult, almost impossible, to play at this time the qualifiers; many restrictions in many countries, and even some players [need] to come from outside their countries as they are playing outside, so it is difficult for many countries, even for us,” Sousa said.
“Almost for sure [the games would be] postponed to June, and we proposed to be one of the countries to organize.
I think we have ideal conditions to do it, and it was accepted by most of the countries.” Best conditions Sousa noted that he is certain that all will be done by the Bahrain Football Association to have a safe and comfortable setting for all the participating national teams.
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