Five senior women booters ignored
Published : 19 Apr 2017, 17:08
Five senior women footballers were deprived of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's grand reception as well as cash rewards as the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) seemingly gave more importance to the under-16 women's team rather than the senior team, which became runners-up in the SAFF Women's Championship in India this year.
The sports loving Prime Minister accorded the reception to nearly 350 athletes, who have brought laurels for the nation from the international arena individually or as a team since last October, at Gono Bhaban on Sunday.
However, those five footballers were denied a reception despite being members of the national team while the under-16 women's team, which emerged group champions in the AFC U-16 Women's Championship Qualifiers in September last year, were considered.
The timeframe for achievements announced for the reception was from October 2016 till date, but it seemed that the game's governing body was more intent on rewarding the 23-member under-16 squad instead of the 20-member senior squad even though the senior team consisted of 15 players from the under-16 squad.
The other five senior players captain Sabina Khatun, midfielder Mainu Marma, goalkeeper Sabina Akter, goalkeeper Rawshan Ara and defender Munmun Akter were apparently overlooked to make way for eight junior footballers.
The deprived five were disappointed at not getting the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister and not getting Taka one lakh each, but they kept their mouths shut due to the BFF women's committee embargo regarding speaking to media.
"We prepared the footballers' list on the basis of information the football federation provided. The senior women's football team, which played in Siliguri, India this year, were in consideration for the reception as the timeline was from October till now. However, the same girls emerged champions (in the AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers in September) in Bangladesh," National Sports Council secretary Ashok Kumar Biswas said, explaining how five senior players were dropped as the NSC prepared the athletes' list for final approval from the Prime Minister's office.
“There were mistakes in the players' list that the BFF had provided and they later requested us to finalise the list, but it was too late," added Biswas.
"We sent names of three squads [national women's team, national under-16 women's team and national under-14 boys' team] while requesting the NSC whether to include the under-16 women's team which had become group champions in the AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers in September. However, the final list was prepared by the NSC,” said BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag adding that they made no mistakes in preparing the initial list.
The NSC secretary, though, said that those five players would get financial rewards as they have already sent their names to the sports ministry.
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