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Hamza open to playing for Bangladesh

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 14 September, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Bangladeshi-origin English footballer Hamza Choudhury is open to playing for Bangladesh, admitting he would be “more than proud” and “honoured” to represent the nation, reports Sky Sports on Monday.

Hamza is on loan at Watford for the season and was speaking as he became an ambassador for Muslim athlete support group Nujum Sports.

Former England U21 international Hamza has Bangladeshi and Grenadian heritage. The 24-year-old has enjoyed a Bangladeshi upbringing and is the only British-Bangladeshi ever to play Premier League football.

Asked if he would ever flirt with the idea of playing for Bangladesh, Hamza said: “Yeah I think so, I definitely think so.

“I want to see how well I do in the next couple of years, but I’d be more than proud, more than honoured to go and play for Bangladesh, and almost have more of a reach, going back there more regularly,” said the Leicester City academy graduate.

The midfielder said he feels a “strong connection” with his roots in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh and cannot wait to give his children the opportunity to spend some time in the country.

“I was surprised at the beginning I think (about the impact of my success back in Bangladesh),” he said.

“Maybe that was because my family tried to keep me as grounded as possible, when I first made my debut and after my first few games, and stuff like that.

“I didn't realise how much of an impact it could actually have until the messages were like flowing and flowing. My mum used to be up all night because my aunties and my cousins were calling from Bangladesh.

“That sort of opened my eyes to just how much reach you do have as a professional footballer - especially as a South Asian footballer.

“It is definitely something I feel a strong connection with and want to tap into. And I want to help and share my experiences with people. You work hard and you reap the benefits, but for me, it’s also about wanting to share that with other people and let them enjoy that with me, I guess.

“Maybe I’ll go back to Bangladesh during the winter break, we’ll see how many days we get off (because of the Qatar World Cup). I want to take my kids back there because I want to give them a bit of my childhood. We used to go every year back to Bangladesh, literally, from when I was one, and it’s a different world,” he concluded.