SAFF women’s football champions welcomed amid much fanfare

Prothom Alo

Bangladesh national women's football team, which emerged as winner in the seven-nation SAFF Women’s Football Championship with all-win record, was accorded a fitting reception as they returned home from Nepal Wednesday afternoon, reports UNB.

Bangladesh clinched the first-ever SAFF Women's crown in their 2nd attempt after 2006, beating four times runners up and hosts Nepal by 3-1 in the final at Dashrath Stadium (Rangasala) in Kathmandu Monday evening.

State minister for youth and sports Zahid Ahsan Russel received the team at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at about 1:50 pm.

The players and officials were welcomed at the airport with garlands and then they cut a cake. Thousands of football-crazy fans thronged Dhaka airport to welcome the women footballers for their glorious achievement.

Bangladesh captain Sabina Khatun, midfielder Sanjida Akter spoke to the press in a short briefing at the airport.

After completion of airport formalities, the national heroes boarded a well decorated open-deck BRTC bus with the champion’s trophy at about 3:30 pm. They were on their way to the BFF office in Motijheel and exchanged greetings with fans standing on both sides of the road.

Ahead of the final, Sanjida Akter, a member of Bangladesh women’s football team, said they might not get an open-deck bus to celebrate the win, still, they are committed to winning the tournament.

Krishna Rani Sarkar scored twice and Shamsunnahar Jr scored the other goal for the Sabina Akter-led Bangladesh team in the final.

Prothom Alo

Before the flight arrived in Dhaka, thousands of fans arrived in groups and waited outside Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. They were shouting slogans, congratulating the girls.

On the way to the final, Bangladesh beat Maldives 3-0, Pakistan 6-0, India 3-0 in group matches, crushed Bhutan 8-0 in the semifinal and hosts Nepal 3-1 in the final, scoring a total of 23 goals and conceded only one in the final.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Cricket Board announced a reward of Tk 5 million for the victorious girls. Besides, Toma Group also announced a Tk 5 million reward for the team.