Tuesday 11 August 2020 ,
Latest News
31 July, 2020 02:20:10 PM

Print

When football stands tall for national flag

Salahuddin reminisces the historic day of hoisting national flag high in foreign sky
MD ANWAR ULLAH,DHAKA
When football stands tall for national flag

A section of the former football players, who formed part of the Liberation War of this country by way of playing important role for the country’s independence from Pakistan back in 1971, were the first ones to hoist the national flag on foreign soil.

Forming a platform called ‘Swadhin Bangla Football Team,’ they played the important role of propaganda thereby favouring the cause of Bangladesh in the form of playing football matches in different parts of India. They also raised fund to provide financial support to the freedom fighters (FFs) as the country’s guerilla fighters continued fighting for independence from Pakistan.

One such prodigal son of the soil was Kazi Salahuddin, the incumbent president of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF), who happened to be the youngest player of the Swadhin Bangla Football Team at the tender age of only 17.

“The July 25th, 1971 is the Red Letter Day for me.

I believe that it’s not only a memorable day for me, but for all the Swadhin Bangla Football Team members, who remained present marking the occasion of hoisting our national flag high in the sky of a foreign country,” said Salahuddin, the living legend of Bangladesh football.

The youngest yet the most talented player of that history-making team, Salahuddin turned emotional while describing the breathtaking memories of that fateful day during an exclusive interview with The Independent on Wednesday.
Recollecting the memories of those golden, historic days in 1971 when he played under the banner of ‘Swadhin Bangla Football Team,’ the player-turned-sports administrator feels thrilled even these days.

Looking back in 1971, he first shared the most exciting memory of hoisting the national flag at Krishna Nagar in India.
“It was 25th July, when we hoisted the flag at the ground of Krishna Nagar. Bangladesh was yet to be recognised in the world at that time. And we eventually became the first ones hoisting a Bangladesh flag on foreign land. It was a matter of immense pleasure, I felt really proud. In fact, one can’t explain the very emotion we had in that crucial moment of history,” a nostalgic Salahuddin said beaming in pride.

The team played series of matches across India. He, however, said the matches were hugely moral-boosting for the fighting people of a then unrecognized country. They also generated fund for the FFs.

“The nation was fighting for its fundamental rights, culture and education and we tried to render a positive image of sports to India and remaining part of the world as football was the number one game all over the world,” recalls the prolific striker of that famed team.
When Salahuddin joined the Swadhin Bangla team as a 17-year-old booter, he was already one of the top players of Mohammedan Sporting Club. His parents were contemplating an idea to send him abroad for higher education to build up a bright career.

But the then young boy chose to join the guerilla force (i.e., FFs) along with thousands of young men who did fight with the vision of an independent Bangladesh.

He said, “I thought I needed to play a part and by that time I was knocking the door of national team while my family was planning for me to travel abroad for my higher education. But I told my family about my intention to join Muktijuddho. My mother opposed the idea outright and shouted at me.”

She told me, “Don’t talk nonsense. Do you know, how old you are? Then she asked my father to stop me. But my father looked at me, realized the emotion and told nothing. Instead, he opened his wardrobe, took in hand a bundle of Taka and after handing over those to me just said ‘take care my son and come back with success.’”

“Rest of the nine months was part of history. We went to Kolkata by an Indian aircraft, we 25 players shared a room there, and on numerous occasions with meal once a day. We, however, played a number of matches in different parts and had huge support from Indian people. But the day of 25th July is simply a ‘Red Letter Day’ for me,” concludes the living legend of Bangladesh football.

HM

Comments

Poll
Today's Question »
State minister for power Nasrul Hamid yesterday said everyone to have access to electricity by June. Do you think the feat achievable by the timeframe?
 Yes
 No
 No Comment
Yes 47.3%
No 48.7%
No Comment 4.1%
Video

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting