Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said that whenever she gets time she watches football games and dreams about Bangladesh playing in the World Cup one day.
“Now the World Cup is being held, but we have no position in football. It actually hurts me”, she said adding that she dreams of the day when “our boys and girls will qualify” to play in the world’s biggest football tournament.
The premier was addressing the concluding and medal distribution ceremony of Bangabandhu Inter-university Sports Championship at Bangladesh Army Stadium here in the capital.
The Youth and Sports Ministry arranged the 3rd edition of the sports competition with some 6,950 participants, including 1,850 females from the country’s 125 public and private universities under 12 events.
Hasina stressed on the need for sports competitions and cultural practices to keep the young generation free from drugs, militancy and terrorism.
“We don’t want drugs, militancy or terrorism. We believe in peace, development and progress. I know the government’s supports are always needed for education and sports and cultural practices,” she said.
The PM said different sports competitions have been introduced from primary school to university level in the country. Due to these competitions, Bangladesh would be able to perform better in the world sports, she hoped.
Describing Bangladeshi children as very meritorious and talented ones, she said if they get a little scope, they can make possible the impossible.
The PM focused on different steps taken by her government for the development of sports, including construction of mini-stadium in every upazila in the country.
Some 720 medals were distributed among the best performers under the 12 events including football, cricket, athletics, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and badminton, kabaddi and chess.
Daffodil International University has become the champion university in the 3rd edition of the competition, while Dhaka University won the fair play award.
The joint best male athletes are Ashif Reza and Mahumudun Nabi of Uttara University and the best female athlete is Tamanna Akter of Islamic University (Kushta), who received gold medals from the prime minister.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russel presided over the function, while Youth and Sports Secretary Mesbah Uddin delivered the welcome speech.
Earlier, the PM enjoyed the 2nd half of the women's football final match when Gono Bishwabidyalay and American International University of Bangladesh (AIUB) by 3-1.
The champion teams under different events include Daffodils University in men's football, women's handball, women's volleyball and women's kabaddi; Gono Bishwabidyalay in women's football, men's volleyball and men's kabaddi; Islamic University in men's handball and men's basketball; North South University in women's basketball; AIUB in men's cricket and Jashore University of Science and Technology in women's cricket.
The Bangabandhu Inter-university Sports Championship was introduced in 2019.