Bangladesh won’t send men’s football team to Asian Games

Bangladesh national men's football teamProthom Alo

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) has decided not to send the men’s football team for this year’s Asian Games in light of the team’s recent poor performances.

BOA came to this decision after a meeting on Saturday, where they decided not to send the Jamal Bhuyan-led team to Hangzhou, China for the Games which will take place from 23 September to 8 October.

After the meeting, Bangladesh’s chef de mission in the Asian Games and BOA treasurer AK Sarkar told Prothom Alo that the association will send the women’s football team for the event but not the men’s team, who had reached the second round in the previous Asian Games by shocking Qatar 1-0 courtesy of a late strike from Jamal.

“We had decided earlier that we will compete in 17 events in the Games. We are sticking to that decision. We have added the boxing event. We will send the women’s football team but not the men’s team,” said AK Sarkar.

Bangladesh men's football team reached the second round in last year's Asian Games for the first time in its history
Prothom Alo

He also spelled out the reason behind the men’s team’s omission, “We took this decision taking the men’s team’s performance into account. Representatives of the football federation were also in the meeting, we told them this. They didn’t really say anything.”

When asked if not sending the men’s team after they made history in the previous Games was the right call, AK Sarkar said, “The BFF representatives didn’t really oppose the decision.”

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) vice presidents Kazi Nabil Ahmed and Mohiuddin Ahmed were present in the BOA meeting.

Mohiuddin told Prothom Alo, the decision was taken in the BOA meeting after taking all things into consideration.

Prothom Alo reached out to BFF president Kazi Salahuddin, who said, “I don’t know about it. Let me find out.”

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The Asian Games was initially supposed to take place in 2022 but was postponed for a year due to a Covid-19 outbreak in China.