Emiliano Martinez leaves autographed jersey for Jamal Bhuiyan

Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan

Following his hasty Dhaka tour when Emiliano Martinez was at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for his Kolkata-bound flight. Ironically Bangladesh men’s football team was also present there. The Jamal Bhuiyan led side was returning home from Bengaluru after finishing their SAAF campaign.

Learning about Martinez's presence, it was natural that the Bangladesh footballers would be keen on meeting the World-Cup winning Argentine goalie. Jamal evidently failed to do so and this hit the social media. In a few hours social media was flooded with the viral image of Jamal standing beside Martinez’s car, unable to meet the Argentine. A large part of Bangla facebook sphere, as expected, was incensed with the apparent ignominy of national team skipper.

Martinez, however, came to know about this after his arrival at Kolkata from Satadru Dutta, the organiser who arranged his Indo-Bangladesh tour. Satadru also knew the saga from facebook and claimed he was disappointed knowing it. An hour or so ago he telephoned from Kolkata to say, “Tell me, what is Martinez's fault! Does he know Jamal? I don't even know him. Had I known him I would definitely arrange a meeting with them."

Emiliano Martinez with prime minister Sheikh Hasina during his short visit to Bangladesh

Satadru may not know Jamal Bhuiyan but he was naturally disappointed with the criticism in Bangladesh. Already the tour of Martinez was not very satisfactory. Questions were raised why he actually came here. He did not have the opportunity of seeing the now-world-famous craze of Bangladeshi fans about Argentina. He could not even meet any the general public and met only with "VIPs” although he desperately sought to join at least one public gathering. That was the very reason he was eager to come to Bangladesh for the first place. Satadru also had to explain to him why such a thing did not happen.

He could not do what he wanted to do in Dhaka and the Jamal controversy was rubbing salt into the wound. Even if he wishes, Satadru cannot bring Jamal to Martinez now. So, to ease the disappointment of Jamal, he got an autographed Martinez jersey for him. There is a friendly message as well on the jersey. Martinez must have relalised Jamal was disappointed and even may have been insulted for not being able to meet him. Perhaps, by comprehending that before signing the autograph Martinez wrote on the jersey, “Cheers, Jamal. “

The jersey is now with Satadru. He wants to send it to Jamal but he neither has the phone number nor the address of the latter. In order to get those, he telephoned this correspondent. He wants to send the jersey to Jamal knowing his address and perhaps he may want to express regret to the Bangladesh captain.  

Jamal may now ‘cheer up’ with this special gift.