It’s just the beginning?

After the successful completion of the Argentina-Nigeria match in Dhaka, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has now sets its sights on bringing English Premier League champions Manchester United and Diego Maradona’s Al Wasl FC of UAE to the city next year.
“If I am elected again in next year’s election, then I will try to bring Manchester United and Maradona in July 12 or 15 next year,” Salahuddin told reporters at his office in Motijheel yesterday.
BFF member Anwarul Haq Helal, who acted as chairman of the Argentina-Nigeria FIFA international friendly, elaborated further that Maradona’s charges Al Wasl FC could play against Manchester United of England.
The tenure of the existing BFF executive committee, led by Kazi Salahuddin, will expire on April 30 next year.
However, the BFF boss has shifted his focus to the national team as Bangladesh will compete in the SAFF Championship to be held in Orissa, India from December 1 to 15.
“Ahead of December’s SAFF Championship, the national football team will be given enough time to be prepared, we even will send them abroad for practice matches if needed,” said Salahuddin.
Bangladesh were eliminated by eventual champions India from the semifinals of the SAFF Championship held in Bangladesh in late 2009.
Bangladesh are now led by Macedonian coach Nikola Ilievski, who guided the team to the second round of the 2014 World Cup pre-qualifiers after an aggregate 3-0 win over Pakistan in the first round, but his charges were eliminated through an aggregate 4-2 loss against Lebanon despite a 2-0 home win.
“We will discuss the team’s preparations with the national coach before finalising the programme and the booters may be given one month or two months to be geared up for the SAFF Championship,” added the BFF boss.
The domestic season will get under way through the Federation Cup in the latter part of December after the completion of the SAFF Championship. The players’ transfer window will be open from October 1.
“We initially wanted to complete the Federation Cup before the SAFF Championship but a few clubs of the professional football league want to play Federation Cup and Bangladesh League uninterruptedly,” said Anwarul Haq Helal, member of the Bangladesh League Committee.
An uninterrupted domestic season is on the cards as after the SAFF Championship in December this year, there is virtually no international engagement for the national team in the horizon for 2012, although the Bangladesh League champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club are supposed to take part in the AFC President’s Cup from May 3-13 next year. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is also set to introduce a new tournament involving national U-22 teams of different countries but it is still not decided whether Bangladesh take will take part in that tournament to be held in July next year.

-With The Daily Star input

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