What would a dream Bangladesh football team look like?

They say that Bengalis are known for their love of three things. Maach, Roshogolla and Football. Sadly enough, our football scenario is constantly marred with mismanagement, lack of funds and whatnot. There was a time when football used to be the biggest sport in the country. People would wait in lines to get their hands on a black ticket for an Abahani-Mohameddan match.

Things have certainly changed now but the tides are turning again. The country’s football scenario is under the limelight, thanks to our team’s recent performance and other off-field issues. Jamie Day and Jamal Bhuyan have emerged to be the new brands for Bangladesh football.

Read more: Jamal Bhuyan: The Danish captain of Bangladesh football

Much like Jamal Bhuyan, this football-crazy nation has its prodigal sons scattered in many different corners of the world. Most of us know about Hamza Chowdhury who plays for Leicester. Here are four Bangladeshi born footballers all around the world who, if bought together, could change Bangladesh football forever:

Shamit Shome

Shamit is a Canadian professional footballer born to Bangladeshi parents. He plays as a midfielder for Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer and has played in Canada’s U-20 and U-21 teams.

Farid Ali

Farid Ali is a Ukrainian professional footballer of Bangladeshi descent. He is a right-wing for Polish club GKS Jastrzębie. With an impressive physique and a decent record, he is one of the prominent Ukrainian players out there.

Hamza Choudhury

Hamza Chowdhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Read more: Hamza Choudhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Hamza Choudhury plays as a midfielder in Leicester City in the English Premier League. He is constantly in the sight of premier league heavy-weights like Manchester United and Chelsea. He also played for the England U-21 team a couple of times.

Tariq Kazi

Tariq Kazi is a Finnish right-back playing professionally for Ilves Tampere. He has played for the Finland U-19 team. Recently he has signed a contract to play for the Bashundhara Kings and is headed soon to Bangladesh.

Will a dream team comprised of all these heavy-weights able to change the image of Bangladesh football? Let us know what you think.

Jamal Bhuyan: The Danish captain of Bangladesh football

2019 is an exciting time to be a football fan in Bangladesh. Bangladesh made it to the second round of qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification. This tremendous feat came after winning the two-legged tie against Laos at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on the 13th of June, spearheaded by our talismanic captain Jamal Bhuyan.

Although Bangladesh is still a long way from securing their place for Qatar 2022, the Danish-born midfielder has been a revelation for team Bangladesh and Bangladesh football as a whole since his debut in 2013. And it’s time we finally give this man the limelight he deserves.

Not your average Bangladeshi upbringing

The story of our captain begins in the Danish town of Glostrup where he was born to Bangladeshi immigrant parents. He was involved in football from a very young age. At the age of 15, Jamal was playing for the Danish outfit Brøndby IF. After scoring against Denmark’s most prestigious club, F.C. Copenhagen (FCK), he was offered a place in the FCK’s youth academy.

After playing for a number of Danish sides, he moved to play in Philippines and China, before finally signing for Sheik Jamal in 2014, becoming the highest paid footballer in the country. As of 2017, he is playing for the Bangladeshi club Saif Sporting Club.

Leaving Denmark to represent Bangladesh

Being eligible to play for Denmark and Bangladesh, Jamal ended up choosing Bangladesh out of love for his father’s country. A country where he’s never been to. Jamal Bhuyan had a tough choice ahead of him. Keep playing for Denmark and F.C. Copenhagen where he would be catapulted into footballing glory. Or, come to Bangladesh and try to revive its bleak footballing scenario from dust and ashes. Jamal chose the latter.

Jamal Bhuyan chose country over personal glory.

He debuted for the Bangladesh national team, leaving the Danish luxury behind, in 2013 against Nepal in the 2013 SAF games. He became the first non-resident player to represent the national side.

Jamal Bhuyan was named the best defensive midfielder in South Asia in 2018 and remains so till this day, arguably.

He was also part of the commentary team as a guest commentator for Barcelona’s last La Liga match against Eibar last May. All in all, it’s safe to say that Jamal is truly making a mark in world football in our colours.

Future of Bangladesh football  

It is quite disappointing to admit that football in Bangladesh has been brushed aside with the rise of cricket. Gone are the days when Dhaka would split down the middle whenever there was an Abahani vs. Mohammedan match. Match attendance in stadiums are dwindling and lack of proper funding, talent scouting and football academies have been weighing down the progress of Bangladesh football.  

The story of one Jamal Bhuyan 2

But with the recent upturn in form, football in the country has been promising lately. With team Bangladesh going through to the second round of WC qualifier, the overall ranking has also gone up from 188th to 183rd.

Our love for cricket overshadows our footballing heroes

Cricketers are our superstars. We idolize the likes of Mashrafe, Shakib-Al-Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. And they deserve every last bit of our love and respect. But on a different frontline, a whole different bunch of heroes are fighting with blood, sweat and dedication to uphold Bangladesh’s name in the world stage. And if nothing else, they at least deserve our love and support as much as our cricketers.

Bangladesh has never lacked football fans and it’s quite evident with the huge fan following of numerous European clubs all over the country and whenever the World Cup rolls around the corner. So it’s time we develop and support our domestic football scene. And with Jamal Bhuyan at the helm, it seems like the time is now.       

Here’s to Jamal and the boys, for the next match and all the matches to come, we’ll roar with you.

Meet Jaya Chakma, the first Bangladeshi woman FIFA referee

With the anticipations and excitement of football fanatics, the news of Jaya Chakma makes it better than ever! Jaya Chakma, a proud ethnic member from Rangamati, defied all barriers by establishing herself as one of the first Bangladeshi FIFA referees.

Alongside Jaya Chakma, Salma Islam is also on the list as an assistant referee with. With the public recognition of FIFA, this dynamic duo will be able to hold national team matches in 2020, on an international level.

Read more: The story of one Jamal Bhuyan of Bangladesh

A woman with great ambition for sports

Initially, Jaya drew everyone’s attention as she conducted matches for men’s football. She was one of the pioneering members of the national women’s team even after completing her Asian Football Confederation Class-3 refereeing certificate course in 2011. Unfortunately, due to injury, she missed 2012 SAFF Women’s Football Championship, which ended her playing career. But she never stopped pursuing her passion for football. Jaya Chakma started her refereeing career at the same year, without any pause. She is now conducting important Football League tournaments on a regular basis.

In an interview with Dhaka Tribune, she mentions how overwhelming her journey has become, but it was a matter of great pride to be able to represent her country on an international level.

Read more: First-ever Bangladeshi female commentator: Shathira Jakir Jessy

Jaya Chakma is consistent not only with sports but also her academics. Majoring in History with a Masters from Jahangirnagar University, she also pursued and received a Diploma in Sports Science.

Jaya will appear for the AFC Elite Panel is she receives the FIFA referee badge. Congratulations to one of the most well-deserved referees of all time!

Read more: Hamza Choudhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

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Hamza Choudhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Bangladesh is home to a huge number of football lovers. Football mania goes into full swing during the world cup season. And we all know how crazy the supporters can get.

There’s a huge portion of football fanatics who follow the clubs of their choice week-in-week-out. The English Premier League is arguably the best league for any professional footballer to play. And it is here we find a certain young English-Bengali starlet by the name of Hamza Choudhury. 

This is the story of Hamza Dewan Choudhury’s.

Origin and profile

Hamza Chowdhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Hamza Dewan Choudhury is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Leicester City. He was born on the 1st of October 1997, to a Grenadian father and a Bengali mother.

“Both my parents are Bangladeshi and I have been brought up in an Asian family. But I have Caribbean blood in me as my dad is from Grenada”.

Hamza stated regarding is ethnicity

Hamza began his career at the Leicester City Academy and was reportedly monitored by a number of European clubs. After a two-season loan spell with Burton Albion, he has broken into the Leicester City team in the 2018-19 seasons.

Read more: The story of one Jamal Bhuyan of Bangladesh

Next-Gen English talent?

Hamza Chowdhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Apart from his iconic hairdo and distinct ethnicity; he stands out amongst his Leicester teammates as part of England’s crop of exciting young footballers.

Only 21, he is part England’s new generation of footballing superstars; alongside Dortmund superstar Jaden Sancho, Chelsea’s Cullum Hudson Odoi and Manchester United recent summer signing Aaron Wan-Basaka.

Although currently playing for Leicester, he is constantly in the sight of premier league heavy-weights Chelsea and Man United.

If Hamza hones his skills and continues to improve his fitness and performance, it is likely he will be appearing for a top-flight club. He is currently playing for England U-21 team and hasn’t made his international debut yet.

Role model for the subcontinental diaspora in England

Hamza Chowdhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

The sub-continental community of England and Greater Britain is one of its biggest, in term of both population and diversity.

Immigrants from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka among other communities have gradually seeped into most aspects of British life. Professional football is one of the few aspects British citizen originating from the Sub-Continent have failed to break through significantly. Some players of subcontinental origin have featured in the lower leagues and even Premier League; although the numbers are still far and few in between.

Though it is too early to predict the future of young Hamza Chowdhury’s football career, he’s certainly on the right track in representing the Sub-continent, especially Bangladesh in arguably the most competitive league in the world. 

So as the new season of the English Premier League is waiting to explode onto the footballing landscape, do keep an eye on the prodigious talent of our very own Hamza Chowdhury and his exploits with Leicester City.

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