Blatter gives Bangladesh high hopesStaff Correspondent
FIFA president Joseph Blatter during his visit to Bangladesh on Tuesday assured Bangladesh Football Federation of all out co-operation to regain football’s popularity in this country.
Blatter made this assurance while speaking to a press conference after he had a courtesy meeting with BFF President Kazi Salauddin and the executive committee members at the BFF Bhaban.
‘I know football is not the most popular game in this country. But football plays an influential role in almost all the nations. We will provide Bangladesh all kinds of support including sponsors to take football to a better position here,’ said Blatter.
‘I heard the prime minister of this country; Sheikh Hasina understands the educational value of football. I expect her kind cooperation on this regard,’ Blatter added.
The Swiss who inaugurated an artificial turf donated by FIFA, a photo exhibition hosted by Bangladesh Sports Press Association and the Sylhet Football Academy during his visit, said that it is the local organisers’ duty to make football more popular here while replying to a question on this issue.
‘The BFF president Salahuddin has been made a member of the FIFA’s marketing committee. So he can do the branding of his country’s football as well,’ said Blatter when asked how Bangladesh can cope up with the practice of TV branding of football.
The FIFA president advised the Bangladeshi organisers to bid for the youth or club World Cups when he was asked whether FIFA has any plan to organise the World Cup in the South Asian and can Bangladesh become a co-host if such a thing happen.
‘This question demonstrates that you have eyes on a good future but you have to wait few more years to do that since the World Cup slot is booked till 2026,’ he said.
‘Besides, you are too young to organise such a big event. You can host the smaller events like the youth or club World Cups to gain the experience of organising,’ Blatter added.
Blatter was accompanied by Zhang Jilong, the interim president of Asian Football Confederation.
Blatter through FIFA development officer Shaji Pravakaran announced that FIFA will give BFF all kinds of financial and technical support to run the Sylhet Football Academy till 2014. The BFF was assured of a further assistance in March after a meeting with the FIFA development officers.
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Date:Wednesday, 7th March, 2012