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Fire scare in Indian U-23 football team's bus in Bangladesh leaves players in shock

Dhaka Police escort stranded team back to hotel in jeeps

India U-23 football Team Bus fire
The Indian U-23 team board a police escort after the team bus caught fire in Dhaka

DHAKA: The Indian U-23 National Team presently in Dhaka for the AFC U-23 Championship survived a major scare when there was smoke spotted coming out from the rear of the team bus. The team were on their way back to the official team hotel from the Monday (March 30) morning recovery session when the smell of something burning hit everyone inside and emission of smoke was spotted from the rear of the bus.

The incident caused huge panic forcing the contingent to immediately vacate the bus. Everyone was caught in a state of shock.

The 30-member contingent were left stranded on the streets for some time and were eventually dropped at the team hotel by the escorting police jeeps in turns. Few of the support staff including Head Coach Savio Medeira even walked towards the team hotel before being picked-up by vans which were shuttling to offer help to the members of the stranded squad.

“It was scary. For a moment we were flummoxed. We just couldn’t understand what to do,” Head Coach Savio Medeira told www.the-aiff.com. “I need to thank the local Police in Bangladesh for their timely support and cooperation without which we could have ended up worse.”

Meanwhile Md. Abu Nayeem Sohag, General Secretary, Bangladesh Football Federation met Medeira, enquired about the incident and assured full cooperation from their side.

Nevertheless, the shock on the faces of India U-23 Players was very much evident even after settling down at the hotel. Even as they went through their routine treatments, rest and meals, the incident comes back to haunt them at almost every moment.

“It’s my responsibility to see that players stay relaxed and get in the mood for the match,” Medeira commented at the pre-match official media interaction.

Bangladesh will want to win on home soil: Bangladesh Football Federation Gen Secretary

Earlier on Monday morning, the boys had a recovery session at the Sheikh Jamal Dhanmundi ground located at the heart of the Bangladesh Capital.

“It’s going to be another tough battle for us,” Medeira said. “It’s understandable Bangladesh will be desperate for a victory on their home soil and we intend to finish off with a victory too,” he further stated. “Every match starts afresh and we expect an intense battle.”

“Playing under the lights will lift up our spirits and gives us that extra bit of recovery time,” he stressed.

For the record both of India’s matches so far kicked-off at 3pm which had even forced the Referee to go for an Official Drinks break midway in the match. The hosts, on the contrary, will play their third consecutive match under the lights at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

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