Friday, 29 September, 2023

Akhi leaves camp, not football

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 29 May, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Woman booter Akhi Khatun on Sunday confirmed that she left the Bangladesh national team’s camp two days ago with the expectation to study at a Chinese sports institute, but she has no plan to say ‘bye’ to the national team career. 

Akhi, a member of the winning teams for the SAFF Women’s Championship 2022 and SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship 2017, felt that this decision would boost her career as she would have the opportunity to continue footballing along with studying there.

“I can confirm everything after Eid. I’m going there to continue both study and football. The institute is similar to BKSP. I’ve talked with the institution a long time ago. But I didn’t go there for SAFF and my mother was also sick,” Akhi told the reporters during a programme of BSPA at a city hotel in Dhaka.

“Of course, I will continue playing football. Recently, I’ve got my fitness certificate which means I’m able to play in the upcoming Asian Cup. No player can play without that certificate,” she said.

While asking about her expenses, the 19-year-old center back said, “They didn’t say anything about it (expenses). I have no regret if I pay my own expenses or they don’t give me any scholarship.”

Akhi said that she conveyed her desire to go to China to Bangladesh Football Federation technical director Paul Smalley, but the federation was yet to give its feedback.

“I’ve already informed Paul Sir and he has talked with the federation. I want to go there to study and play football. If they don’t allow me to play international matches, it will be their failure, not mine,” she added.

Akhi then said the women’s team head coach Golam Robbani Choton’s sudden resignation hurts her as like others in the camp, but there was no link to it with her decision.

“We are lucky that we have Choton Sir. It is very frustrating for women’s teams that he will no longer work here. There was no link to it with my decision,” she said.

“Last time when I left camp there were lots of rumours that spread around that I left camp without permission or I got married. But I went to see my sick mother. These rumors hurt me a lot. So, this time I decided to inform you by myself,” the booter added.

When asked about a rumour that she was going to China in order to get married, Akhi replied, “Anything can happen. It is different from football.”