Football academy begins its journey

November 14, 2014

The first-ever football academy of the country began its journey in Sylhet on Thursday with an aim to produce the star footballers of the future. Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith inaugurated the academy with a gala ceremony attended by as many as five ministers.
It was a double delight for the Bangladesh Football Federation after a FIFA official announced in the inauguration programme that they will help installation of an artificial turf at the academy ground under their goal project.
‘We [FIFA] would love to fund for another artificial turf here if the Bangladesh government can fulfill our criteria,’ Shaji Prabhakaran, the development officer of FIFA said on Thursday.
The artificial turf would be in addition to the $5 lakh that FIFA has already promised to spend for the academy.
The announcement is part of a commitment made by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who, during his visit in 2012, had promised to extend support if the BFF could launch the academy.
BFF president Kazi Salahuddin thanked Blatter for keeping his promise.
‘I am grateful to FIFA president Sleep Blatter, who supported us financially and kept his promise for the future,’ Salahuddin said at the inauguration ceremony.
‘Once we open the academy I just hope they will help us by providing the equipments.’
Salahuddin also explained their limitations in front of the finance minister and wanted financial support from the government.
‘I don’t have enough money to run football,’ Salahuddin said. ‘I only got $5 lakh from FIFA and AFC which was spent for the national coaches, the BFF staff and other bills of the BFF.
‘The government spent a huge amount of money for the education and health sectors every year.
‘If we get one per cent of the education or health budget, we can look after the young generation and may keep them away from drugs and alcohol abuse.
‘And we can produce a healthy nation like France, Germany, who are superior in football as well as in other sports,’ Salahuddin said.
‘I need only four to five years financial assistance from the government and then I can earn hundred million of dollars by selling my players in Europe,’ said the BFF president.
Muhith responded positively.
‘I feel very happy to inaugurate to inaugurate the academy,’ said the veteran minister.
‘BFF has made a plea before us for financial support. I can’t assure that we will provide the full but I can assure that we will assist them.
Muhith also added that running the academy is not just a BFF’s concern rather it is a national concern.
‘This academy is not only BFF’s concern but also it is a national concern, so we will also look after the project.’
Commerce minister Tofayel Ahmed also spoke among others on the occasion.

-With New Age input

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