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Dhaka Tribune

Sheikh Jamal president content

Update : 16 Feb 2014, 06:01 PM

Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club might have lost the 118th IFA Shield final but their performance won the hearts of millions, both from Bangladesh and the other side of the Bengals.

Before they left the country for Kolkata 70 days ago, even they would not have expected such appreciation from the football fans, despite not winning it and coming close to making history.

Football lovers of the country, after such a long time, gathered under the same tent to support a Bangladeshi club, the popularity they didn’t even get after winning their maiden Bangladesh Premier League title three years ago and the Federation Cup this season.

Their performance throughout the tournament, especially Mamunul Islam, Sohel Rana and foreign trio Sony Norde, Wedson Anselme and Emeka Darlington got great attention from the Indian media and I-League clubs as well. Sheikh Jamal interim manager Abdul Gaffar also admitted that Mohun Bagan made Mamunul and Sony offers to join.

Whatever happened in the final, including the red card incident, Sheikh Jamal president Manjur Kader wants to forget and take the positive from the tournament that left the Dhanmondi outfit frustrated in the breath taking tie-breaker.

"I'm only frustrated with the final. Otherwise, I'm contented with every other matches we played before the final. The peoples of Kolkata also applauded Sheikh Jamal's performance. I managed big clubs like Abahani and Muktijoddha but I never achieved anything like this before. Last 15-16 days, I spent fantastic time there," said Manjur Kader.

Kader also talked about the red card. "This is nothing new in this region. There's no value of talking about this right now as it would not give us the title. This tour prolonged the relationship between the two countries," he added.

Meanwhile, following Kolkata media who reported that Sheikh Jamal boycotted the prize distribution ceremony of the Shield final on Saturday smelling a conspiracy, its manager Abdul Gaffar dismissed the claim and explained the reason.

"It was totally a misunderstanding. Mohammedan supporters entered into the field after the match and we couldn’t get out of our dressing room. We waited for 35 minutes then we came back," said Gaffar.

The team will return to the city today morning at 10.20am.

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