Full-fledged work of Sheikh Kamal Sports Complex will start after Eid
The full-fledged work of the much-awaited Sheikh Kamal Sports Complex at the surroundings of Abahani Limited is all set to begin after the Eid ul-Adha, announced during a remembrance programme on occasion of the 70th birth anniversary of Abahani founder Sheikh Kamal at the club premises on Monday.
“It’s been quite a while we have been talking about it. The temporary galleries and the dormitory for the players have been built so far. Now the full-swing work of the complex will begin after Eid al-Adha. Hopefully the full works will be done within two and half years.” said Abahani chairman Salman F Rahman during his speech.
Salman also said that a replica model of the old building will be made and placed at the new mega complex in order to keep memory of the traditional club.
Terming Sheikh Kamal as “versatile” personality, Salman recalled one of the memories. “Before I was going to London I asked him what he needs but he didn’t want anything for him but football boots for Abahani players. I asked the same before I was going to Japan but he rather replied me to bring electric organ for his music group ‘Spondon’.”
Born in 1949, Sheikh Kamal was a versatile sports and cultural personality during his effervescent but extremely impactful lifetime of 26 years. He was a cricketer, footballer, basketball player and an athlete who founded the country’s most successful club, Abahani, a year after the liberation war.
The directors of the club recalled the contributions of Sheikh Kamal along with the tough times the club’s members and supporters had faced after the massacre of August 15 in 1975.
“He called the people across the country to a new stairway, to a new path of sports and culture and so on,” said Abahani’s acting director in-charge Kazi Nabil Ahmed. He continued, “It was tough times for the club during 1976-78 but the players and officials made huge sacrifice to survive the epoch. The biggest spirit of the club is the belief that we can do. Overcoming every obstacles, Abahani now is the most popular and successful club of the country.”
Finance Minister and former BCB and ICC president AHM Mustafa Kamal said, “Abahani is a family and I’m proud to be a part of it. Sheikh Kamal is not physically with us but he is always there as a source of inspiration. His thoughts were innovative; he could gather the youth and get the best out of them.”
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said that Sheikh Kamal gave everything to sports despite being the son of President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Terming “shining star” in country’s sports and culture, Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh hailed Kamal for introducing modern football in the war-torn country.
“We faced a lot of challenges to keep the club alive but we managed to overcome them,” said Abahani’s founder general secretary Harunur Rashid. He added, “One of his [kamal] wishes will be fulfilled with the completion of new sports complex. But I have a request to keep the old building intact as a memory of Sheikh Kamal.”