Vol. 5 Num 134 Thu. October 07, 2004  

BFF won't give in to threats

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has vowed to continue with promoting women's football in the country despite threats from a section of fundamentalist zealots.

The BFF launched the first-ever football competition for women at the Bir Shreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur on Monday. But on the following day a group of religious zealots under the banner of Islami Oikya Andolan renewed their hate campaign against the sport, terming it a 'nude exhibition'.

"There is nothing indecent in it and I think they are just trying to create an issue in the name of religion. We have full support from the government and we are determined to continue to promote women's football in the country," told chairman of the women's football committee Sirajul Islam Bachchu to reporters yesterday in the back drop of more protests by the fundamentalists who have announced a 'gherao' programme of National Sports Council for October 9.

Also a vice-president of BFF, Bachchu cited the example of more conservative countries who have started encouraging women's football.

"Even Iran, Pakistan and other Islamic countries have introduced women's football. What's wrong if our women play football too?"

"It will tarnish our image internationally if we bow to the pressure from a handful of fundamentalists. Because then they will be encouraged to attack female participation in other sports. We are not ready to accept it," he added.

The veteran football organiser also informed that the government had assured them to provide full security for holding the tournament.

Meanwhile, the day's two scheduled matches were postponed yesterday following heavy rain and Bachchu informed the matches would be held today.