Kazi Salauddin, the president of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF), says he can sigh with satisfaction if he wants the best. No matter how much Nakanichubani has been playing football in the international arena throughout the year, the success has come at the end of the year thanks to the under-19 women’s football team. The girls of Bangladesh retained the title by defeating India 1-0 in the final of the Under-19 SAF Championship on 22 December.
Kazi Salauddin’s trump card girls football for many years. In the midst of endless failures in the country’s football, BFF is promoting its achievements by showing pictures of the success of girls’ age based football. 2021 was Salauddin’s 13th year as BFF president and this time too the success of that age based women’s football is the shield to save his back. Putting aside the success of the under-19 women’s team, the sick look of the country’s football has come out more faintly in her 13th year as president.
Salauddin’s playing career in politics is as ‘great’ as his life
Kazi Salauddin was a great striker in his playing life. Although he could not be given a pass mark as president, his skill in the politics of voting is like scoring goals in his playing career. After being elected BFF president for a third term in 2016, Salauddin said that was his last election. But last year, he was re-elected in the tumultuous movement of ‘Remove Salauddin’ and was also elected president.
One of his rivals in the election was former footballer and former BFF vice president Badal Roy. In the end, he got 40 votes by announcing his withdrawal from the election. Badal Roy, who has been vocal about BFF’s irregularities even from the post of vice-president, has now become a star in the distant sky.
Behind the success of the girls whose success is Salauddin’s trump card, there is a sick image. Success at the age level, but the girls’ national team is suffering from the drought of success! Last September, the national women’s football team took to the field after two and a half years. Bangladesh’s return after scoring 15 goals in 3 matches in the Asian Cup qualifiers has been disappointing. That is the real picture of women’s football in Bangladesh.
The joint council headed by Salauddin announced a 36-point manifesto before the election. Notable among these were the long-term realistic plans for the national team, the regular organization of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup, the restoration of titles in the SAF Championship and SA Games and the improvement in the FIFA rankings.
Apart from this, Kazi Salahuddin also promised to organize a specific schedule of domestic football, change of teams at the scheduled time and district football leagues within the specified time. He said the manifesto was prepared after three months of research. He has made similar promises before, most of which have not been fulfilled.
The randomness of BFF’s “long-term plans” for the national team can be seen in the fact that from September to November, three people have been in charge of the national team. Bashundhara Kings’ Spanish coach Oscar Brujon was given the responsibility of the SAF Championship by Jamie Deck as’ OSD ‘. After the cleanup, Abahani Limited’s Portuguese coach Mario Lemos was given the responsibility again in the Sri Lankan tournament.
In the 13 years of Kazi Salauddin as the president of BFF, the national team coach has changed 20 times. Unplanned hiring and replacing coaches has had a negative impact on footballers’ performance. FIFA ranking is a mirror of a country’s football. In recent times, Bangladesh’s position in the FIFA rankings means that it is hovering below 180 (currently 18).
In 2021, the national team has played the most matches, but this credit can be given to the BFF president. Bangladesh has played 16 international matches this year, breaking the national team’s record of 15 international matches in 2015 (FIFA first and second tier combined). Against 5 draws and 6 defeats in 18 matches on foreign soil, Bangladesh has won only 3. They are also against Kyrgyzstan U-23 (FIFA second tier), Sri Lanka and Maldives.
The manifesto announced the restoration of the SAF title. Good luck to BFF, this year’s SAF Championship has been a round robin league with five teams. Like the previous four editions, Bangladesh did not have to leave the group stage. The winners of 2003 are the fourth among the five teams.