Bangladesh girls’ victory cheer at Dasarath Stadium in Kathmandu. The best team in South Asia is now Bangladeshi women’s football. They won outright. And there are many untold stories behind this victory.
How much sweat, how much sacrifice, how much adversity Sabina-Sanjidad’s success! On the head is the crown of South Asian excellence. Behind this is the story of years of relentless work, concentration and unyielding determination. Want to express in one word? the pursuit
There had to be an off-field battle to decide the first. Girls’ football was established in Bangladesh 15–16 years ago to meet FIFA’s requirements. Some people who have grown up with modern conveniences may be unaware of the magnitude of the societal obstacles faced by young women in Bangladesh in the past. Some people had difficulty embracing the idea that women would play football while clad just in shorts. This disapproval has occasionally been demonstrated by processions and occasionally through attacks and the cancellation of matches. However, one must first reflect on the tumultuous early years to appreciate the magnitude of the Bangladeshi women’s conquest of South Asia. Sabina’s accomplishments in this area are more than just game-specific.
Girls come from remote regions of Bangladesh to Dhaka. They lived together day after day in the Bangladesh Football Federation camp. They shared meals and rehearsed together. The group performed at home and internationally. Everyone has grown into a family. They have no independent life outside of football. Football parallels life. A life characterised by rigid discipline. The girls were greeted with friendly smiles because playing this game had altered their lives. The stories of most female footballers in Bangladesh are identical to those of most famous male footballers in Latin America. For them, football is an escape from a life of poverty. The confidence in a prosperous existence in the future.
These young women are determined to keep up their winning ways. Regular victories for Bangladesh in such age-group contests are not unusual. However, the outcome will change if you begin with nothing. As a youth team, the national squad fell short of victory. This squad will represent the national team at the under-16 and under-19 levels. This SAFF Championship, then, marks the start of a brand-new era. This triumph will go down in Bangladeshi football annals as one of the most significant.
India and Nepal are competing against each other in this competition. These two squads met in the championship game of four of the last five tournaments. Bangladesh played only one game. Reaching the finals for the second time was a huge accomplishment for Bangladesh, propelling the country to new heights in the Himalayan region. After going ten matches without a loss, India came out on top, 3-0, over the defending champs. For the championship, Nepal was likewise undefeated. The golden deer won in the final match after eight previous victories. A simple read of Sanjida Akhtar’s Facebook status, in which she writes, “It is always fun to play the final as a welcome or to play the final against the home team,” should be sufficient to see the logic behind this. When it comes to the championship game, nobody wants to play the host team. even more so if you have never won a game against that group. There, Sanjeeda is overjoyed. How much trust is realistically possible? It’s open to public disclosure!
Before the final, the status of the Bangladesh team’s right winger has become viral. It’s about to happen. I don’t remember hearing a such intelligent, mature speech from any player of Bangladesh. Re-reading some parts which I think it is worth quoting. Since that is not possible, let’s say two parts. One of which makes his eyes wet while reading, ‘In the final, we will not be fighting on the field as a footballer. There will be a team of 11 fighters on the field, many of whom have come so far losing their father, taking the last possessions of their mother, and selling their sister’s ornaments, many of them being the only source of income for the family. .’
You will find it hard to believe when you hear about the salary structure of female footballers! The monthly salary of ‘A’ category footballers is 12,000. The salary of ‘B’ and ‘C’ category players is 10,000 and 8,000 respectively. There is no change in the fate of women footballers who have brought success one after another.
On the other hand, the footballers of the men’s team have not received any victory for a long time. But their salaries are several times higher than the women’s team. What is the reason for such discrimination? Bangladesh Football Federation says, Sponsor not available. How long will the football federation give the excuse of the women’s team sponsor crisis?
Bashundhara Kings pay the highest salary for girls in club football. Whereas Sabina Khatun, Krishna Rani Sarkar and Sanjida Akhtar get Rs 4-5 lakh depending on the category. But for most footballers, the dream of having a family while playing football remains a dream.
But there is hope that Bafuf’s reluctance in women’s football is going to end this time. BAUF President Kazi Salauddin has indicated that the salary will be increased soon.
The comments of Sanjeeda also moved the heart; “We want to win this for the enthusiastic dreamers who share our vision. We wish to repay your unwavering support. Even if we don’t stand with the trophy in the open-top champion bus, we want to win it for the people who helped us touch the green grass, putting society’s tippny to the side.”
The girls have returned home. They were greeted with open arms. Thousands of people celebrated their victory on both sides of the road.
Congratulations, Sanjida and your gang! And Congratulations, Bangladesh women’s football!