The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday officially announced their intention to organise an international football tournament in October. Eight nations; Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh; are set to take part in the Bangabandhu International Gold Cup, the first international meet to be organised by the BFF in nearly fifteen years.
“I have already talked to the presidents of nine to ten football federations and today [Thursday] the executive body has approved my proposal of hosting the Bangabandhu International Gold Cup. Now I will invite them officially for the tournament to be held in Dhaka in October,” said BFF president Kazi Salahuddin yesterday.
Promising to host the Bangabandhu International Gold Cup regularly, Salahuddin said that this time he would sit with all eight presidents of participating nations together and take confirmation for two more years beyond the current one. It is the first time in 14 years that the BFF is going to host the international tournament since the last International Football Tournament, also named after Bangabandhu, was held in 1999.
Afterwards the football governing body had hosted different tournaments or international matches such as the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers, the SAFF Championship, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Olympic qualifiers, Asian Games qualifiers, AFC President's Cup, international friendly between Argentina and Nigeria but they never organised any themselves. In a meeting that preceded the announcement, it was also decided to stage the third Super Cup in between May to April.
The announcement of hosting Bangabandhu Gold Cup and Super Cup means a hectic schedule is ahead for the footballers. The booters are now engaged in the ongoing professional football league. They will then go to Nepal to participate in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in March and be engaged in the Independence Cup upon their return from Nepal. Afterwards, they are scheduled to play a couple of international friendlies in August after the completion of the Bangladesh Premier League and then will move to Nepal again to play the SAFF Championship in September before returning for the Bangabandhu International Gold Cup in October.
Salahuddin informed that the meeting also approved the appointment of the Dutch coaches, who are scheduled to take the charge of the national team in February temporary before taking it fully in June.
The meeting also promoted acting general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag to BFF general secretary. The post had been vacant since the premature death of Al Musabbir Sadi in April 2011. Shohag joined the BFF in 2005 as a competition manager.