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Dhaka Tribune

Standard football pitches the need of the hour

Bangladesh football team get honored by BFF for reaching SAFF Championship semi-finals

Update : 10 Jul 2023, 02:52 PM

The issue of not having standard pitches for top-flight football was brought into attention Sunday when the national football team got honored by Bangladesh Football Federation for reaching the semi-finals of the recently concluded SAFF Championship after 14 years.

The country's football governing body handed over more than Tk50 lakhs to the whole team before hosting a luncheon at the BFF House in the presence of BFF president Kazi Salahuddin.

The players and other members of the team were present and it was assistant coach Hasan Al Mamun who first talked about the lack of proper venues in the country during his speech.

“We want to take football to another level from here after the way the player sacrificed themselves. For this, we need combined efforts,” the former national captain told reporters.

He added, “What we miss while playing international matches is that our pitches are not of the same level. Except the home venue of Bashundhara Kings, none of the venues in the country meet the international standard. I request respective authorities to prepare these venues to international standard for the betterment of Bangladesh football.”  

The BFF chief also echoed the same sentiment in his speech and said the federation is helpless in this regard as they do not have full control of the venues.

“This is my biggest problem as I became crazy for pitches because I can't fix them. We are not knowledgeable on which field we can play. Good football can't be played on such pitches,” said Salahuddin.

The BFF boss added, “Sorry that they are not in our control. We are trying to get the fields in our control so that we can prepare proper field to play the football. This is very important.”

Bangladesh captain and midfielder Jamal Bhuiyan, who plays for Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra, told Dhaka Tribune, “Of course we want pitches with international standard but now Bangabandhu National Stadium is under construction so it's not on our hands. We want the best facilities.”

Rakib Hossain, the Kings forward who was one of the outstanding players in the SAFF Championship, said, “None of the pitches we have outside Dhaka are of professional football standard.

“We face a lot of problems playing on those pitches. The difference between the pitches at home and abroad is huge,” the right winger added.

Defender Bishwanath Ghosh, who received special honor from BFF president for his brilliant display in SAFF, too could not agree more.

The Kings right-back said, “The fields on which we have to play outside Dhaka are not the ones we expect. It's important for us to have proper pitches.”

The top-flight matches this season could not be held at the national stadium in the capital due to renovation work with most games being played in Comilla, Gopalganj, Mymensingh, Rajshahi and Sylhet.

There are no complaints with the Bashundhara Sports Complex, the home ground of four-time premier league champions, but the venues located in the aforementioned places drew heavy criticism.

Those fields are under the control of National Sports Council and its secretary Parimal Singh told Dhaka Tribune that they will look after the situation if the demand is placed.

He said, “We will certainly look after it if they have demand to turn the pitches into international standard. If they (BFF) inform us, we have to consider the renovation work.”   

The ongoing football season will conclude later this month on the 22nd.


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