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Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said her government has always put emphasis on sports as it instils into a person the spirit to become worthy citizens.

“We want the people of the country, particularly youths to become worthy citizens through practicing sports,” the prime minister said while addressing a ceremony organised for distributing trophies and prizes among the champion and runner-up countries of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament, 2020 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital.

The prime minister hoped that the children of the country will go ahead through practicing sports as her government has always attached importance to sports and its overall development.

In this context, she said that her government has been organising Bangamata Football Tournament for girls and Bangabandhu Football Tournament for boys from the primary school level.

The prime minister adorned the players, coaches and team managers with medals and distributed cheques for prize money among the best player, top goal scorer and players of the champion and runner-up team.

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Defending champions Palestine clinched the title for the second term beating Burundi by 3-1 goals.

“I am extending special thanks to the friendly country Palestine for becoming champion and Burundi for becoming runners-up and other countries such as host Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Seychelles and Mauritius for taking part in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup,” the prime minister said.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina enjoyed the entire second half of the final match between Palestine and Burundi at the stadium.

Welcoming the countries taking part in the tournament, she said, “I hope you have liked our country. Bangladesh is a beautiful country. I wish you will come again and again and participate in our tournaments. We will hold these types of tournaments more in future.”

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The prime minister congratulated the organisers, supporters, countries took part in the extravaganza and the people concerned for successfully organising the prestigious tournament, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Former Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar witnessed the final match of the tournament as special guest and exchanged pleasantries with prime minister Sheikh Hasina soon after she arrived at the stadium.

Cesar arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday on a two-day visit at the invitation of Bangladesh Football Federation.

The 11-day Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament, 2020, began on 15 January at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

A total of six countries -- Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and host Bangladesh – took part in the 11-day meet.

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