The successful ending to the Bangabandhu Gold Cup yesterday made the Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin vow of continuing the upward trend of the game in the country.
The chief expressed how disappointed he was once the key players were taken away with injury in the final, but hailed the home side players for turning the table and appearing stronger in the latter stage of the game.
“When I was welcoming the finance minister before the final I heard Vincent was out, I was down, and then after 10 minutes Zahid limped off the field, it was double blow, I never thought of such a comeback, it was a mixed reaction as it made me feel we were going to the lift the title,” said Salahuddin.
The former national football captain also revealed his fear of the tournament losing its glaze once Bangladesh lost the opening match, but he sounded proud when he followed with, “The football loving people proved me wrong, I am grateful of them.”
“After Bangladesh’s win against Sri Lanka and the hosts’ super performance against Thailand, it was a memorable journey that followed and an inspiration for the future, moreover the simultaneous hosting at Sylhet and Dhaka also added a new milestone,” said the BFF president.
Salahuddin thanked the prime minister, the sponsors and media for helping the federation in making the six-nation tournament successful and added, “We have to capitalize the proceedings, there is no way to let it down, we have to continue the upward trend.”
The atmosphere at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Sunday also made the former right-footed striker nostalgic as Salahuddin recalled his playing days and said, “During our time, a full house (packed stadium) enjoyed football. After a long time I saw the same, even the finance minister pointed it out to me.”
He added that the finance minister AMA Muhith, after their win over Thailand, told him, “Look, the people are giving the team a standing ovation. We can’t let the people down.”