Saturday, 1 October, 2022

‘Next target is to conquer Asia’

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 22 September, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
‘Next target is to conquer Asia’
Bangladesh national women’s football team players and officials wave their hands from an open-top bus in a victory parade in the capital on Wednesday. —REAZ AHMED SUMON

After successfully clinching the maiden title of the SAFF Women’s Championship, Bangladesh have set their eyes on conquering Asia.

Bangladesh previously played in the South Asian tournament five times but failed to win any of the tournaments.

However, this year, Bangladesh created a new history by becoming unbeaten champions in the sixth edition of the SAFF Women’s Championship, held in Kathmandu, Nepal and now they are looking to conquer another summit in the coming days.

“Our next mission is to become a top team in Asia. We will give our all efforts to achieve this feat,” said defender Sheuli Azim after arriving in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The Bangladesh Football Federation President Kazi Salahuddin said that they need support from all to achieve their next goal.

“We need support from all of you. Our target is to prove ourselves better in central Asia, ASEAN regions,” said Salahuddin.

State Minister of Youth and Sports Md Zahid Ahsan Russel assured that the government would provide all possible facilities for the development of women’s football. 

“We all know that our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is the prime patronizer of sports in our country. She has a great love of football, cricket and other sports. She has taken many steps to develop the country’s sports arena and it will always continue,” he added.

Meanwhile, the women’s team received a grand welcome after they arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The main attraction was the royal parade of the team on a ‘well-decorated open-top double-decker bus’ on their way from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to the BFF House in Motijheel.

The parade was so long that the girls had to spend four hours coming across an approximately 20km distance between these two destinations.

The grand parade and reception were mainly organized after an emotional Facebook post was written by midfielder Sanjida Akhter before the final match.

Since winning the title, the demand for such a parade came at large from various quarters, starting from social media, to welcome the women’s champion team.

 “It was the best day of my career. The bus, crowd, fans everything was unbelievable and surprising for us. Sanjida's post was behind these arrangements,” captain Sabina Khatun said.

 Sanjida was overwhelmed after the grand celebration and royal parade.

“So much love from people, it’s a new experience. It feels really good. I have seen European teams celebrating like this.” she said.

“The title, the reception and all these things motivated us to earn something big for the country. We will give our best effort to be a top team in Asia,” the midfielder added.