In his first reaction after winning the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) election for the fourth consecutive term, Kazi Mohammad Salahuddin says his biggest strength is the footballers of the country and the people who love football.
After 12 at the helm of BFF, Salahuddin won the battle once again in the just-concluded BFF election on Saturday at a Dhaka hotel. He secured 94 votes while his nearest competitor Badal Roy got only 41 and Shafiqul Islam Manik managed only one vote.
“My footballers are my biggest strength. All the players of Bangladesh football team love me. They came here on the election day to congratulate me which is a big thing for me. The players and who love football came to congratulate me; it means I’ve done something good which prompted them to love me, to support me,” Salahuddin told the media upon the announcement of his presidency after the election.
“I won by 80 votes in 2008. After that, I became the president of BFF winning by 84 votes, and now, I secured 94 votes. It proves that football-loving people want me as the president of BFF. Whatever other people say, football supporters are my strength. I believe I’m popular among the football-loving people,” he added.
Salahuddin and his panel failed to fulfill the commitments they manifested in the last election. But this time around, Salahuddin reiterated that they will put their best foot forward to fulfill all the commitments they’ve made to the supporters. He asked for everyone’s help to fulfill his pledge during his new stint as the BFF president.
While Salahuddin is celebrating his victory, Shafiul Islam Manik, a former footballer and current coach, who got only one vote as a presidential candidate of BFF, said the result is out of his expectation. He believes there were some hidden facts that might have influenced the election.
“This is not the result I expected. I think there are many reasons for it. And, one of the biggest reasons is the reversion of Badal Roy who had earlier withdrawn his candidacy. I’ve talked to the councillors and they promised to vote me. Where are their votes? I didn’t pay them for votes. This is not the expected result,” Shafiul told the media.
“The supporters of Bangladesh football don’t want to see Salahuddin as the president of BFF. So the result doesn’t reflect the hope of the people. Councillors said that they want to bring some positive changes, but they don’t believe that change can happen. I think the result is the reflection of their disbelief. The councillors will be responsible for the development of Bangladesh football in the next four years’ period more than the federation,” Shafiul added.
He also said that as a man of football, he will now think about the next football tournament instead of this election and its result.
The other presidential candidate was Badal Roy who was absent at the election venue. He didn’t meet the press as well. Despite being away from the light, Badal managed to get 40 votes which came as a surprise to many who observe the election closely.