This will be La Albiceleste’s second visit to the South-Asian country.

Reigning FIFA World Cup champions Argentina are set to play a friendly match in Bangladesh in June 2023. BFF (Bangladesh Football Federation) President Kazi Salahuddin (who is also the President of SAFF) addressed the media on 17 January (Tuesday) and said, “ Argentina said they would like to visit Bangladesh during the FIFA window in June 2023 and regarding the tournament venue, the match will be held at Bangabandhu Stadium in the capital (Dhaka).”

The president further added, “Argentina will provide us with a list of countries after talking with their coach and we will pick one. The visit by the Argentina soccer team is almost finalized. A talk on terms and conditions is in progress.”

FIFA’s executive committee member Mahfuza Akter Kiron, also the women’s wing chairman of BFF, informed the Daily Star that they are in talks with teams such as Morocco and Japan to play against the world champions.

Argentina’s fan craze in Bangladesh

Argentina won the recently concluded 2022 FIFA World Cup held in Qatar defeating France and received massive support from all around the world, with the most prominent being Bangladeshi supporters. Argentina have been enjoying fandom in the subcontinent (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) since Diego Maradona won a televised World Cup in 1986. Santiago Cafiero, Argentina’s foreign minister, tweeted that his country will push to reopen its embassy in Bangladesh, which has been closed since 1978.

In India, Kerala and West Bengal are two states which support both Brazil and Argentina in large numbers with the fans having celebrated international football’s greatest event for years. Cut-outs of players were on display across both states, along with fluttering flags and banners. Argentina and Brazil have always garnered huge support here, courtesy the exploits of legendary players such as Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Diego Maradona, Messi and Neymar.

If everything goes according to plan, then this will be Argentina’s second visit to Bangladesh, with their first visit taking place in September 2011, where they defeated Nigeria 3-1 in a friendly at the same ground.

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