June 24, 2024, 12:17 pm

Football icon Aslam calls for reviving Khulna’s sports scene

  • Update Time : Saturday, May 18, 2024
  • 18 Time View
Photo: Collected

TDS Desk:

Former Bangladesh national football team captain and Dhaka Abahani Club legend Sheikh Mohammad Aslam has expressed serious concerns about the decline of sports in his hometown of Khulna, declaring the scene “dead.”

Though retired from professional football, Aslam remains deeply invested in the sport, both in the Khulna region and across Bangladesh.

In an exclusive interview with UNB, Aslam reflected on the stark contrast between Khulna’s once-thriving sports culture and its current state.

“I was brought to Khulna Stadium by my father and uncles as a child. The stadium was packed with fans,” he reminisced. “People loved football! It wasn’t just football but also athletics, weightlifting, and various other events,” Khulna had a legacy, and a great reputation. We had talented Khulna players at every level. I salute all those who helped Khulna achieve national recognition. Today, I feel that place is totally gone. There is practically no sports in Khulna now.”

Aslam, who captained Bangladesh at the national level, winning a President’s Cup, lamented the lack of opportunities for today’s young athletes.

“Looking at the faces of our youth, I appeal to everyone involved in organizations to pay attention and show them the right path,” he urged. “We need to revive Khulna’s sports scene so they can freely play, especially football.”

He challenged the current generation to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, urging them to train rigorously and “transform the youth of Khulna into a powerful force.”

He stressed the importance of placing “the right people in the right positions,” arguing that unqualified leadership had contributed to the current decline.

“That’s what’s happening in Khulna today. I want to see this change. We must transform our youth into a powerful force. This should be our motto.”

Aslam appealed to the cricket board to revitalize Khulna Divisional Stadium, believing that with effort, it could regain its former glory. He also commended Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s initiative to build a Sheikh Russel mini-stadium in every sub-district across Bangladesh.

Sheikh Aslam’s career began in 1974. He played for various clubs, achieving widespread recognition during his time with Mohammedan and Abahani. He scored over 300 goals in his career, with a record 177 goals in the Dhaka League, making him the all-time top scorer in Bangladeshi top-tier football.

He also represented Bangladesh in numerous international tournaments, including the South Asian Games and the AFC Asian Cup, scoring 14 official goals for the national team. His legacy as a Bangladeshi football legend continues to inspire young players to this day. Source: UNB

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