“You (media) should only focus on them, and encourage them to win something even bigger in the next two to four years. We will felicitate them at the BFF office,” he added.

Salahuddin, who is also the president of SAFF, could’ve presented the SAFF Championship trophy to the Bangladesh team. But that didn’t happen as he didn’t go to Kathmandu.

The BFF president explained the reason behind his absence, “I felt that if I were rich, I would’ve flown a plane by myself and land at Kathmandu.

“Thrice I have booked tickets to go to Nepal and thrice I have cancelled my booking. I could’ve presented the trophy as the president of SAFF. But I thought, rather than me going there and presenting the trophy, it’s better if our girls can win it. I thought, if I go there now, the girls might feel under pressure. My presence there could be a positive thing or a negative thing. That’s why I stayed back and watched the games from the BFF office.”

Salahuddin thanked the women’s team and congratulated them, saying they won the tournament as deserving champions.

“They were dominant champions, it wasn’t a fluke. They are the deserving champions. They would’ve played even better in the final if the ground was in a better condition.”

Salahuddin also said that he didn’t think the women’s team was ready to win the SAFF Championship this early, “I estimated that this team will become champions in 2024. At that time, the players will be 22-24 years old. But they have become champions two years before that. This is incredible.”

The BFF boss didn’t give a direct answer when he was asked about what facilities the BFF will provide for the champion Bangladesh team.

“We provide their housing, food, salary and medical expenses. They earn money from the clubs… When they first arrived in Dhaka, we kept their families in hotels. Their families’ monthly income used to be around around Tk six-seven thousand. Now they have two-three TVs in their homes. For what they have achieved yesterday (Tuesday), if I could’ve I would’ve rewarded each of them with Tk two crores.”

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