*** ----> Bahrain squad set for qualifiers | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain squad set for qualifiers

TDT | Manama                                                               

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Bahrain head coach Dragan Talajic has named a 30-player senior men’s national football team for their upcoming joint-qualifiers later this month for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027.

The Bahrainis are set to face Nepal in two matches—the first on March 21 followed by another on March 26. Both games may be played in the Kingdom. They are part of Bahrain’s Group H fixtures, in which they and Nepal are also with the UAE and Yemen.

Talajic’s squad list, which is his first since taking over as the national team’s chief tactician, features four of Bahrain’s overseas-based professionals, and top talents from local clubs Muharraq, Riffa, Al Khaldiya, Manama, Sitra and Al Ahli.

The players are Sayed Mohammed Jaffar, Waleed Al Hayyam, Abdulla Al Khalasi, Hassan Al Karani, Ahmed Al Sherooqi, Hussain Abdulkarim, Abdulla Ali Afreeh, Hamad Shamsan, Hazza Ali, Sayed Mahdi Baqer, Ali Haram, Komail Al Aswad, Jassim Al Shaikh, Ahmed Bughammar, Ammar Mohammed, Mohammed Al Hardan, Mahdi Abduljabbar, Ismaeel Abdullatif, Mohammed Adel, Ahmed Nabeel, Ebrahim Al Khattal, Ahmed Abdulhameed, Moses Atede, Ebrahim Luthfallah, Mohammed Jassim Marhoon, Abdulla Yusuf, Ali Madan, Mahdi Humaidan, Abdulwahab Al Malood and Mohammed Al Bannai.

The nationals are scheduled to begin their local gathering on Sunday. It will be the first time the team will be under his supervision. Bahrain’s games against Nepal are their third and fourth of this qualification round. They had previously beaten Yemen 2-0 in their opening assignment and then lost to the UAE 0-2.

Following this month’s games, their final two games will be against Yemen at home on June 6, and then away against the UAE on June 11. At the end of this stage, the winners and runners-up of each of the nine groups advance to the third round of FIFA World Cup 2026 qualification, and also book their direct tickets to the AFC Asian Cup 2027. Bahrain’s matches with the Nepalese may both be played in the Kingdom.

The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) have issued a statement saying that “due to various sporting and other activities being hosted at the only international stadium in Nepal, and considering the time constraints for pitch maintenance, the condition of the stadium pitch has been deemed unsatisfactory for the qualifier match.”

The BFA announced that it has proposed to also host the March 21 game, originally set to be played in Kathmandu, and the ANFA have had no objections to it, the BFA said. Both parties are now awaiting approval from the Asian Football Confederation.