Lankan star striker Ahmed Waseem Razeek has made himself unavailable for the upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers scheduled to begin in June in Uzbekistan due to the shortcomings of the management.
“I won’t participate in the upcoming AFC qualifying matches for Sri Lanka due to some shortcomings of the management. I wish my team all the best,” Waseem posted in his official Instagram account.
When Ceylon Today asked him the reason behind his decision he said, “Disagreement between me and the Federation” led him to make this decision.
The experienced striker has been a vital player during the four-nation tourney last year, and is also rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting talents seen in the country for years. Waseem also won the golden boot for the highest number of goals (7) in his name.
Waseem was recently involved in India’s I-League. His team Gokulam Kerala FC created history by becoming the first team in the I-League era to defend its title with a 2-1 victory over Mohammedan Sporting.
It will be a major concern for Sri Lanka without the services of Waseem Razeek, who has played a pivotal role at the international stage. It will provide a big headache for the new foreign coach to balance the team upfront without Waseem.
Sri Lanka is slotted in Group ‘C’ and will play their first match against Uzbekistan on 8 June at the Markaziy Stadium in Qarshi, Uzbekistan. Other teams in the group are Thailand and Maldives.
The six group winners and five best second- placed teams will join hosts China PR, Australia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Japan, Korea Republic, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam in the final.
The AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers Final Round will be held across three match days on 8, 11 and 14 June 2022, while the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 kicks off on 16 June 2023.
By Mustaq Sydeen