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Five teenage footballers drown in Bangladesh

  • Published at 03:23 pm July 15th, 2018
  • Last updated at 03:28 pm July 15th, 2018
Divers searching for the drowned children in the Matamuhuri River, on Saturday, July 14Abdul Aziz

Six Brazil and Argentina fans went for a swim after a friendly match

A week had barely passed since the Thai kid footballers were rescued from a flooded cave, and yet a tragedy has managed to mar the world of football a day before the World Cup finals.

Five teenage footballers drowned in a river in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, moments after they played a friendly match between supporters of Argentina and Brazil, police said on Sunday.

According to police and locals, 22 boys from Chakaria Grammar School played a friendly football match in the afternoon. The boys divided into teams of Brazil and Argentina fans – the two teams that are the closest to the Bangladeshi heart.

Afterwards, six of the boys went swimming in the Matamuhuri River around 4pm, wearing the jerseys of Brazil and Argentina drenched in their sweat.

The water was perilously deep and they drowned.

Also Read- Three children drown in Matamuhuri

Locals managed to rescue one of the boys alive.

With the aid of emergency services, a rescue was promptly organised. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, three dead bodies were recovered around 7pm Saturday night from the Matamuhuri River near a bridge along the highway. Two more bodies were recovered at 1am.

The deceased boys have been identified as: eighth graders Aminul Hossain, Farhan, Sohrab Hossain, and tenth graders Turjoy Bhattacharya and Sayeed.

Their funeral, organised on Sunday, saw tens of thousands turn up in attendance.

Also Read- Two more bodies found in Matamuhuri River

The tragic deaths have cast a pall of shadow over the World Cup fever in the area.

During every World Cup, flags of Argentina and Brazil take over the streets as the two Latin American teams are favourites among Bangladeshi fans. 

Fans across Bangladesh hold flag-waving processions to honour their favourite team. And there have been several clashes between rival supporters, prompting police in another coastal town to ban flag processions.