World Cup trophy mesmerises Bangladeshi fans
Ashfaq Niloy couldn’t believe his own eyes. The master’s student from the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Dhaka was within a touching distance of the FIFA World Cup trophy, football’s most coveted prize.
As a football fanatic, Ashfaq always had a desire to capture a moment with the football’s ultimate glory.
So, on Thursday, it was ‘a dream comes true’ moment for him when he witnessed the beauty of the prized trophy in real, for which players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr are dying for, at a city hotel in Dhaka.
“I was very excited. I never thought I would get a chance to see this trophy up close. I feel very fortunate,” Ashfaq told The Daily Sun on Thursday.
Ashfaq was one of the few lucky winners of Coca Cola draw who got the opportunity to take pictures with the trophy alongside some invited guests.
The trophy, which arrived in Bangladesh on Wednesday for a 36-hour visit, was exhibited from 10:00am to 03:00pm at the hotel on Thursday.
Bangladesh, which are currently ranked 188th in the FIFA rankings, are nowhere near qualifying for the main event of the World Cup let alone winning the tournament.
Ashfaq said that he would be cheering for Brazil like the previous World Cup tournaments. But he also feared that he might not see Bangladesh playing in the World Cup in his lifetime.
“I’m supporting Brazil. I’ve always been a Brazil supporter,” said Ashfaq, who went to the venue wearing a Brazil jersey.
“Brazil’s main problem is the lack of goal-scorers. They depend on Neymar to come up with the goods in the attacking third. For Brazil to do well, other players have to step up in front of the goal.
“I don’t think there is any chance of the men’s team playing in the World Cup in my lifetime. The men’s team first needs to play in the AFC Asian Cup regularly before dreaming of playing in the World Cup.
“But the women’s team has the potential of playing in a World Cup in two to three decades. But for that, the BFF will have to give more importance to women’s football,” he added.
Like Ashfaq, Arman Rifat, a young entrepreneur, will also be supporting Brazil in the World Cup, scheduled to begin in Qatar on November 21.
But Arman was optimistic that Bangladesh would be able to qualify for the FIFA World Cup main event someday.
“As a football lover, I would love to watch my country playing in the FIFA World Cup. It will be an amazing moment for all people of our football-crazy nation,” said Arman, who termed his World Cup trophy-seeing a lifetime moment to cheer.
The trophy was later taken to the Bangladesh Army Stadium where a concert was organised to mark the World Cup trophy visit to Bangladesh after nine years.
The heavy rainfall in the morning caused serious damage to the concert stage and venue which prompted the organisers postpone the event in the afternoon.
However, the organisers later decided to hold the concert on the same day as the concert began at 09:00pm.
Renowned bands including Nagarbaul, Warfaze, Nemesis and Lalon and some reputed singers - Arnob, Tahsan, Pantho Kanai, Mizan, Momtaz and Rituraj performed during the concert.