Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) President Kazi Salahuddin wants to triumph another BFF election on October 3 and become president for the fourth consecutive time. However, his foes are making various allegations of failure against him. In a recent interview with a national daily, Kazi Salauddin responded to the criticism against him.
There are movements against you in different places. How do you see it?
Kazi Salahuddin: All these are professional propaganda against me. This has been going on for four years. Those involved do not want elections.
People allege that in your 12-yeat stint, Bangladesh’s football lagged further begind. What’s your take on that?
Kazi Salahuddin: A group is spreading these things. Before I became the president of BFF, footballers used to get Tk 3 lakh from the club (in 2015 it was Tk 15-20 lakh), now they get Tk 50-60 lakh. Earlier league matches were held only in Dhaka. Now it is in 5-6 places. More corporate organizations have come to football as sponsors. Some businessmen are now spreading propaganda against me. But let me be clear, there are two ways to get me out of the federation. Either I resign, or I lose the election.
You have a good reputation abroad as a president, in contrast to your own country. What can be the reason behind it?
Kazi Salahuddin: Those who are doing this can say it well. I have kept football alive. If I leave, football will not survive. But a group wants to conspire against me.
Why did your 'Vision 2020' of playing in the 2022 Qatar World Cup failed?
Kazi Salahuddin: It failed because I can do nothing alone. I want the cooperation of the government, clubs, spectators and media in the development of football. Am I getting that?
FIFA is providing a lot of money in football. Even then, why Bangladesh football cannot revive structure wise?
Kazi Salahuddin: FIFA gives us money in some sectors including administration. That money cannot be taken to another sector. These must be understood.
Your role in the development of football cannot be seen after the election. What will be your respond to this allegation?
Kazi Salahuddin: Football development is not the sole responsibility of the federation. Clubs, and district level organizations are also pivotal in it. The job of the football federation is to organize tournaments, appoint national team coaches, fix hotels, venues etc. for the team.
What do you think about the future of BFF?
Kazi Salahuddin: We are on the right track. I have brought 20 crore taka from the government. But some people go to the government and ask not to pay. Another thing, I'm not a magician. Everyone needs to try. I hope we will be successful if we work together.
Do you have any message for the people ahead of the vote?
Kazi Salahuddin: One message, keep your faith in me.