Youth footballers from Bangladesh will not be able to participate in the Gazprom Football for Friendship event in Madrid this week as the three footballers chosen for the event were denied visas by the Spanish embassy in Dhaka at the eleventh hour.
The three footballers -- Jahid Hasan Nipu of Narayanganj, Mashfikur Rahman Khan Tamim of Dhaka and Roksana Akter Roji of Tangail -- were selected through trials by the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) for the event, which is scheduled to be held in Madrid from May 28 to June 2 on the sideline of the UEFA Champions League final, which will be held on June 1.
The Bangladesh contingent, which included former national team captain Iqbal Hossain as team leader, coach Shariyar Ahmed Mahir and a local journalist, were scheduled to fly for Madrid on Tuesday night.
“They [Spanish embassy] are not convinced about this thing. They think these boys might stay back in Madrid. We have informed the issue to the agency which is dealing with the Football for Friendship programme,” informed BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag.
The BFF had arranged a press conference in this regard yesterday afternoon, but later cancelled it after it the visas were denied.
Bangladesh has participated in the previous two editions of the event which features a football tournament, seminars, workshops, bootcamps and provides an opportunity to watch a marquee match, this time the Champions League final, to the participants from 211 countries.
However, it may be noted here that unlike in the previous two editions, the selection process results of the footballers was not made public by the BFF this time.