Of promise and despair: Bangladesh’s foreign coaches

With the arrival of Fabio Lopez, the number of foreign football coaches for the Bangladesh national team moved to 17. All of them have come with lots of promise but with a few exception most of them failed to deliver any significant result. As a consequence, many of them had to leave with bitter experiences. The Bangladesh Football Federation also failed to show their professionalism in handling the foreign coaches on many occasions that damaged country’s reputation internationally. It is worth looking back to history involving foreign coaches as the country is about to enter a new era under Italian Lopez.
Warner Beckenhoft (Germany): The German coach was the first ever foreign coach in Bangladesh
history who took the national team’s charge in 1978. Beckenhoft was the first man who introduced European style in the Bangladesh Football.
In his two-year long tenure, Beckelhauft mostly worked with the Under-18 team and produced a group of footballers like—Hasanuzzaman Bablu, Sheikh Mohammad Aslam, Ashish Vadra.
Under his guidance Bangladesh national team played in the final round of the Asian Cup in 1980 and displayed some remarkable performances in the 1978 Asian Youth Under-19 championship in Dhaka.
Gerhard Schmidt (Germany): Another German Gerhard Schmidt coached Bangladesh team for a short period in 1982. He was the second coach who came here to work with Bangladesh football under a bilateral contract between Bangladesh and Germany. Under his guidance Bangladesh beat Malaysia in the Asian Games football in 1982 but failed to progress to the next round after suffering a defeat against hosts India in the group phase.
Nasser Hejazi (Iran): Former Iranian international Hejaji was a popular face in Dhaka football. Hejaji, who played for Iran in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, coached Mohammedan Sporting Club in 1988 and brought some notable success for the traditional club.
The success inspired BFF to appoint him for the national team before the 1989 Islamabad SAF Games. Bangladesh reached into the final of the Games but they were shocked by the hosts in the final match. The failure forced BFF to terminate the coach.
Oldrich Swab (Switzerland): The Swiss coach worked with the national team after former president of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch provided him to work with Bangladesh football ahead of the 1993 SAF Games.
But under his guidance, hosts Bangladesh were not only ruled out from the group stage but also finished the six-nation tournament as sixth.
Swab, who was mostly renowned for providing the players honey to boost the team was condemned for his controversial decision of changing the position of regular players as well as dropping some in-form players from his team.
Man Young Kang (South Korea): The Korean coach, who mostly believed in hard work to achieve the success, tried to insert some Korean flavour into Bangladesh football after taking the charge in 1995. But under his guidance Bangladesh were eliminated from semi-final of the Colombo SAFF Championship losing to India in tie-breaker that expedited the Korean’s exit.
Otto Pfister (Germany): He was the third and last German coach of Bangladesh national team till date. After working at least 20 to 25 years in different African nations, Pfister took the charge of Bangladesh football in 1995. He brought the first international silverware for Bangladesh winning the four-nation football title in Myanmar on that year.
But he failed to give the SAF Games title after his charges suffered a defeat in the final against hosts India. Even though the high-profile coach showed huge interest to work with the Bangladesh football but BFF severed relationship with him after Bangladesh failed to win the SAFF Championship title in Kathmandu in 1997. Pfister then took the Saudi Arabia team in the 1996 World Cup final and Togo in 2006 World Cup final.
Samir Shaker (Iraq): A member of Iraq’s 1986 World Cup playing squad, he brought the first major international silverware for Bangladesh in 1999 SAF Games. After bringing the dream trophy Shakir had to leave his job because he did not have the coaching certificate from AFC or FIFA to coach a national side.
Mark Harrison (England): The high-profile Englishman, who took charge of the national team in April 2000, had to leave just after six months in charge due to what he said ‘unprofessionalism of football’ here.
George Kottan (Austria): Kottan guided Bangladesh to win the first and only SAFF Championship title in 2003. Kottan brought some changes in the attitude and the playing style of the footballers, but his exit was also not smooth due to his criticism of poor structure and ground against the BFF. He antagonises some of the official, including the then vice-president Abdur Rahim that led his departure.
Diego Andres Cruciani (Argentina): Cruciani was one of the much-talked about recruits by the BFF who joined the national team in August 2005. The Argentine started a new era by bringing the Latin style in Bangladesh football. Under his guidance Bangladesh became runners-up in a four-nation tournament in Myanmar and also reached into the 2005 SAFF Championship final but a spirited Bangladesh side failed to taste the second successive SAFF title after suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat against India. Cruciani was terminated after his charged suffered a huge 6-1 defeat against Tajikistan in the quarter-final of maiden AFC Challenge Cup tournament in 2006.
Syed Nayeemuddin (India): Following the sacking of Cruciani BFF appointed veteran Indian coach Nayeemuddin as interim coach for national team for few months. He also failed to make any notable difference.
Edson Silva Dido (Brazil): The only Brazilian coach of national team, Dido took charge of the national team in January 2009 ahead of the Dhaka SAFF Championship. He produced some new talents like Shahedul Alam, Abdul baten Majumder, Emon Babu, who subsequently represented national team. But Dido lost his job after excluding seven regular footballers – Rajani Kanta Berman, Biplob Bhattacharya, Arman Aziz, Zahed Parvez, Zahid Hossain, Mofazzel Hossain and Ariful Islam – from the final squad on the disciplinary ground. After failing to convince the coach, BFF’s national team management committee, led by Badal Roy, finally dismissed the Brazilian.
Zoran Djordjevic (Serbia): The Serbian coach led Bangladesh to winning 2010 South Asian Games gold medal despite taking over the charge only one month before. Djordjevic, then, demanded a huge amount of money which the BFF could not afford and inevitably he left.
Robert Rubcic (Croatia): Rubcic, who signed a one-year deal with BFF in September 2010 left on June 2 without informing the authorities.
It was learnt that the Croat refused to travel to Pakistan with the national team for the World Cup qualifying match due to security reasons and was also unhappy about his unpaid wages. He left with the BFF still owing four months of wages to him.
Nikola Ilievski (Macedonia): The Macedonian joined the national team in January 2011. Under his guidance Bangladesh beat Lebanon in the World Cup Qualifiers but were eliminated from the group stage of Delhi SAFF Championship after suffering two defeats against Nepal and Maldives. This debacle forced BFF to show him the door.
Lodewijk De Kruif (Netherlands): The latest departure was Dutch coach Lodewijk De Kruif’s who had a chequered time during his two-and-half year tenure. Despite being the highest paid coach in Bangladesh’s football history, Kruif was unable to deliver any significant result.

Courtesy of New Age

Related News

Zlatan Ibrahimovic retires from football aged 41

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com The Swedish great confirmed his retirement following AC Milan’s final game of the Serie A season on Sunday, 4 June. The legendary striker made the announcement on the San Siro pitch following his club’s final game of the Serie A season. “The time has arrived to say goodbye,” the Sweden international ... Read more

Karim Benzema set to join Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ittihad after leaving real madrid

Real Madrid confirms Karim Benzema’s departure from the club as a free agent after 14 years. Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema will leave Real Madrid as a free agent after 14 years, with the striker set to move to Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad. Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad are ... Read more

PSG confirm Lionel Messi exit at the end of the season

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Lionel Messi will leave Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expires at the end of this season. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner joined the Parisiens on a two-year deal from Barcelona in 2021, and those terms included an option to extend his stay until 2024. Despite a string of prolific seasons in ... Read more

MSC beat Abahani to win Federation Cup after 14 years

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Malian forward Souleymane Diabate scored four goals as Mohammedan Sporting Club edged arch-rivals Abahani Limited in an eight goal thriller in the final to win the Federation Cup after 14 years at the Shaheed Direndranath Datta Stadium in Cumilla on Tuesday. The popular black and white outfit clinched the title 4-2 ... Read more

Akhi leaves BFF camp to move to China

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com National women’s football team defender Akhi Khatun left the team Bangladesh Football Federation residential camp to pursue sports education in a Chinese academy as she claimed to reporters during a function at a city hotel on Sunday. While leaving the camp two days back, Akhi expressed her desire to the BFF’s ... Read more

Inter Milan clinch Champions League spot with win over Atalanta

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Inter Milan secured their spot in the next season’s Champions League with a 3-2 victory over Atalanta, displaying good form ahead of the final of Europe’s top club competition. Inter had an astonishing start with Romelu Lukaku and Nicolò Barella goals within three minutes, then Lautaro Martinez sealed the 3-2 win ... Read more

PSG win record 11th French league title

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) secured a record 11th French league title after a 1-1 draw at Strasbourg on Saturday. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi scored the opener in the 59th minute at Strasbourg’s Meinau Stadium. The Paris giants moved four points clear of second-place Lens with a match left in the league. PSG ... Read more

Bashundhara Kings make it four in a row

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bashundhara Kings became the first team in history to lift four consecutive Bangladesh Premier League titles when they beat Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra 6-4 in their second-leg match at the Bashundhara Sports Complex in the city on Friday. Kings also won the titles in the previous three editions of the league ... Read more

Shock decisions rock women’s football

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh’s national women’s football team’s long-serving coach, Golam Rabbani Choton, decided to quit his post soon after SAFF Women’s Championship title-winning team forward Sirat Jahan Swapna made the announcement of her retirement on Friday. ‘My decision is to resign on June 1. I will send the resignation letter to the BFF ... Read more

Love for Argentina recognised as AFA, bKash tie up

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com The Argentine Football Association (AFA) and bKash Limited (bKash), the largest mobile financial services provider in Bangladesh, announced their partnership to promote further financial inclusion through sports today. With this initiative, bKash became the first and only Bangladeshi brand partner of the reigning world champions. After years of support for La ... Read more

First-ever SAFF Club C’ship likely next year

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com The South Asian Football Federation, at its Ordinary Congress on Saturday, decided to hold the first-ever SAFF Club Championship next year. ‘The championship will start in the middle of next year on a home and away basis. The details of the championship, however, will be given following discussions among the members ... Read more

Lionel Messi in talks over Saudi Arabia move?

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Lionel Messi is reportedly in negotiations to move to a top Saudi Arabia club for a staggering £320 million a year. The 35-year-old is expected to leave Paris Saint-Germain after the current campaign when his contract ends after two years with the club. And the Argentine maestro is already opening talks ... Read more

Haaland breaks Premier League record for most goals in a season

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Erling Braut Haaland has broken the all-time record for the most goals scored in a single Premier League season after netting his 35th goal of the campaign in Manchester City’s 3-0 victory over West Ham United on Wednesday night. The 22-year-old has already broken a plethora of records in his debut ... Read more

Salahuddin makes offensive remarks at the journalists, then apologizes

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin courted fresh controversy on Tuesday by apparently humiliating journalists in an off-the-record chat with his colleague at the BFF House. The BFF president apparently had a dig at the journalists who went to cover the press conference following an executive committee meeting, although his words ... Read more

PSG suspend Lionel Messi for 2 weeks over unauthorised Saudi trip

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com PSG have suspended their star Argentine forward Lionel Messi for two weeks after he made an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, reports French outlet RMC Sport. The 35-year-old forward did not report to training with PSG on Monday following the club’s 3-1 defeat to Lorient as he was in Riyadh, Saudi ... Read more

Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Al Nassr just months after joining

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Cristiano Ronaldo ‘wants to LEAVE’ Al Nassr and make a big return to Europe, according to stunning reports. The 38-year-old supposedly wants to leave the Saudi Arabian club only a few months after penning a €200m (£175.2m) contract. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s position at Manchester United became untenable before the ... Read more

Karim Benzema and girlfriend Jordan Ozuna welcome first child together

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema and his partner, Jordan Ozuna, have become parents to their first child. The reigning Ballon d’Or winner reportedly welcomed his first child with his model girlfriend on Thursday, announcing the pregnancy last October. According to Marca, Ozuna was admitted to the Ruber clinic in Madrid on ... Read more

15-year-old Lamine Yamal becomes Barcelona’s youngest ever La Liga player

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Lamine Yamal became the youngest player to represent Barcelona in La Liga when he came off the bench in Saturday’s win at home to Real Betis. The Blaugrana bounced back from a shock defeat to Rayo Vallecano by beating Real Betis 4-0 courtesy of goals from Andreas Christensen, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha ... Read more

Ibrahimovic’s season at risk after calf injury

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury-hit season could be at an end after AC Milan said on Saturday that the Sweden international has picked up a knock to his right calf. Milan did not specify for how long Ibrahimovic would be out but said that there a “small hope” that he could play before ... Read more

Neymar and Bruna Biancardi to become parents

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Neymar and Bruna Biancardi are going to be parents. The Brazilian soccer star and his model girlfriend (formerly fiancée) have announced they are expecting a child together. The baby will be Ney’s second, after 11-year-old Davi Lucca. The couple are celebrating their rekindled romance with a new bundle of joy. They ... Read more