The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) oversees football, the country’s second most popular sport (after cricket). The nation’s success in Test cricket and its participation in the Cricket World Cup sparked a renewed interest in the sport, overshadowing its previous prominence in football. Football’s popularity, however, remained unaffected.
haka and the surrounding area host more football events than any other city. The whole country goes crazy for the sport every time the FIFA World Cup, Copa America, and UEFA European Championship roll around. Despite massive financial constraints, poor technical adaptation, and lack of professionalism, federation leaders and experts are optimistic about the growth of football in the nation during the next ten years.
History and Origins
The Dhaka Sporting Association (DSA) was founded in the 1930s and 1940s to cultivate players in the eastern region primarily. This was when the rivalry between Kolkata and Dhaka began. Dhaka University students made up the bulk of the squad that earned a 1-0 victory against Islington Corinthians on November 22, 1937.
Football was used during the Liberation War in 1971 to raise awareness of the struggle for independence throughout the world. In 2009, the BFF formally accepted the Swadhin Bangla Football Team, which had previously played 16 matches in India. The team’s captain, Zakaria Pintoo, was the pioneer who raised the flag of Bangladesh outside.
League football was top-rated in Bangladesh before the 1990s. While Pakistan was still a colony from the 1940s through the 1960s, league football was a huge hit. In the 1940s, Dhaka was home to several storied football teams competing in the historic Dhaka Football League, which ran from 1933 until the country’s partition from Pakistan.
In the late 1940s, Dhaka hosted a match between East Pakistan Governors XI and West Bengal XI, which drew tens of thousands of spectators. In 1948, three years before the Mother Language Movement and when Bangladesh was still ruled by Pakistan, the Bangladeshi club Victoria SC won the first Dhaka League.
From the 1970s until the early 1990s, several Dhaka league teams were among Asia’s most successful. Even the best European players participated in the competition.
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During the next decade, Ivory Coast qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals under the tutelage of several great managers, including Austrian György Kottán and German Otto Pfister. However, with Argentine coach Andres Cruciani, Bangladesh advanced to the quarterfinals of the AFC Challenge Cup in 2006. In 2010, under Serbian coach Zoran Orevi, Bangladesh won the 11th South Asian Games on home soil.
With the introduction of the Bangladesh Premier League in 2007, the country finally had a professional football league and a wide-open national society in which teams outside of Dhaka could participate for the first time since the country gained independence from Pakistan. Given the poor performance of the Bangladesh national team, the new league was established to raise the level of football in the country and foster the development of future stars.
The 6th of September, 2011, will be remembered as the most fantastic day in Bangladeshi soccer history. At Bangabandhu National Stadium, Lionel Messi and the Argentina national side faced Nigeria in a friendly. Footballers from Bangladesh were allowed to attend the game and were inspired by their Argentine counterparts. If they invest in state-of-class facilities, football in Bangladesh may make great strides.
Downward Spiral (2011–present)
From 2010 to 2020, the BFF fired 15 head coaches, marking a low point in Bangladeshi football’s history. As a result, national and international football lost popularity, and the country’s FIFA ranking plummeted to its all-time low. Since the beginning of the decade, the BFF has had to rely on importing players from other countries since the country’s lack of grassroots development and disorganized league system rendered it unable to produce talent.
Since the beginning of the decade, the BFF had to rely on importing players from other countries as the country’s underdevelopment and inefficient contracting system has failed to produce talent But despite a huge effort to attract players from abroad, the national team is yet to show much progress and is unable to reverse the decline The lack of good academies in the country is a major contributing factor to the need for day football skills and many special talents have been displayed by homegrown playersAs the 2012–13 Premier competition season was underway, BFF launched its second division competition. The Bangladesh Championship League has struggled to maintain professionalism since its start, making it seem like a poor imitation of Bangladesh’s top division.
Tom Saintfiet’s squad was led to their worse humiliation under ever against Bhutan in the second round of AFC Asia Cup 2019 qualifying playoffs. After a scoreless first leg in Dhaka, Bhutan came out on top 3-1 in the decisive second leg at Thimphu’s Changlimithang Stadium. The outcome meant that Bangladesh could not play any games organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) or FIFA for the next two years.
You can follow a couple of football leagues in Bangladesh and even bet on them. It’s all your choice and how you can make this fun. And it doesn’t matter which football league you’re following — they can still be fun.