According to some reports If BFF initiative is successful, Messi’s world champion Argentina team may come to play in Bangladesh sometime this year. What was once a dream became a reality 11 years ago.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina football team played in Dhaka. On September 6, 2011, Messi’s team played against Nigeria in a FIFA friendly at the Bangabandhu Stadium. The initiative to bring the Argentine superstar to Dhaka has been taken once again.
During the recently concluded World Cup football, Bangladesh was flooded with emotions about Messi and Argentina, the news of which reached Messi’s country as well. Keeping that madness in mind, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) wants to bring Messi back to Dhaka after 11 years.
BFF has already sent a letter to the Argentine Football Association stating their desire. In a letter sent to Argentine Football Association President Claudio Tapia on January 5, BFF president Kazi Saladin congratulated Argentina for becoming the world champion.Wishing Tapia a new year, BFF President wrote, ‘Argentina has a huge fan base in Bangladesh. We saw that during the World Cup. So we want to bring Argentina national football team with Messi to Bangladesh at a convenient time in 2023 and organize a FIFA friendly match. Although no specific time for the friendly match was mentioned, the letter said that BFF was working on possible opponents for Argentina. If the opponent is a team like Brazil, Buffo thinks it is better.
Earlier, reminding the Argentine team to come to Bangladesh in 2011, the letter said that there would be no problem with the security of the Argentine team in Bangladesh. Apart from that, teams like Australia have played football in Dhaka after Argentina-Nigeria. In 2011, BFF spent about Tk 40 crore in organizing the Argentina-Nigeria match. The aim was to use the Messi-craze to get a positive response in the country’s football.
However, it is questionable how far BFF has been able to move forward. Bringing the Argentina team to Bangladesh is another big shock. However, BFF president Kazi Salauddin hopes that money will not be a problem this time as well. Yesterday he told Prothom Alo, ‘We are very interested in bringing Argentina to Dhaka this year. Accordingly the work has also started.I have been assured of money from a potential sponsor. I have been asked to enter the field with a green signal. Buff President said, if it is not possible to bring Argentina with Messi to the end, they will try to bring Messi’s club PSG. I want to bring Messi in general. That’s how the plan is progressing,” said Salahuddin.
Abu Naim, general secretary of BFF, however, said that all this has nothing to do with BFF new initiative to bring the Argentine team to Bangladesh. They have nothing to do with Bafuf’s initiatives. It is exclusively BFF’s own program. “We have contacted the agent of the Argentina team. Hopefully, I will be able to report more progress in this regard in the future.”
Congratulating Argentine President Alberto Fernandez after Qatar’s World Cup win, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also called for the opening of Argentina’s embassy in Bangladesh. In response, the Argentine president thanked Sheikh Hasina and assured to take the initiative to open an embassy in Bangladesh.