The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has made a promise to the FIFA to start its football academy in Sylhet by August this year following assurance from the Youth and Sports Ministry.
The game's governing body has been struggling to make the academy functional due to long-winded government procedures, but the BFF sees a new hope after a meeting with new state minister for youth and sports Biren Shikder, who promised to complete the remaining work by July.
The BFF president Kazi Salahuddin made the promise to FIFA development officer Shaji Prabhakaran, who recently visited Bangladesh to hand over 7000 Adidas World Cup footballs as well as to inspect the Shaheed Birsreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium where an astro-turf under FIFA Goal project will be installed by this year.
FIFA, under Goal project-3, has already released 400,000 dollars out of a promised 700,000 dollars to the BFF in June 2012 to run the country's lone football academy under foreign coach. BFF sought help from the government to equip the academy with furniture at the dormitory, office rooms and staff quarters and turn the ground fit for practicing.
The finance ministry responded by allocating Tk 1.94 crore in March, 20013 but negligence from the National Sports Council led the finance ministry take back the money, as no was work done in the last fiscal.
“The development work at the Sylhet BKSP has resumed three weeks ago and installation of furniture is going on even though filling of earth is yet to start. We are expecting to get the Sylhet Academy ready by July as per discussion with the sports minister and start the academy by August,” said BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag on Friday.
The BFF will however have to wait to get the remaining 300,000 dollars from FIFA till the start of the academy.