Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday announced that its football academy will start operation in March following the completion of a talent-hunt programme across the country.
The game's local governing body selected 70 footballers -- 35 each for under-15 and under-18 level --from some 275 budding footballers, who were initially selected from 16,000 hopefuls at district level.
“The players have been selected through a month-long talent-hunt programme. Now the selected ones will undergo medical tests before being selected finally. Before taking them to the academy in March, we will also talk to their parents,” said BFF president Kazi Salahuddin at a press conference yesterday.
The BFF had earlier run a FIFA-funded academy for only nine months in 2015. It had also announced to bring the winning team of 2018 SAFF U-16 Championship into a three-year contract and sent them to Sylhet BKSP in November last year, but it has not materialised in the last three months.
There is a whisper in football fraternity that the BFF has taken this recent initiative ahead of next year's BFF polls after Bangladesh District and Divisional Football Associations (BDDFA), a platform opposing incumbent president Kazi Salahuddin, took a similar initiative of talent hunt at under-20 level in the latter part of last year.
“I am not conducting this programme for the elections rather we have a good opportunity to produce good results at international level if we can groom them properly at academy. I don't have any problem if I do not stay at the federation,” defended Salahuddin.