Leandro Negre, the president of International Hockey Federation (FIH), left Bangladesh in the early hours of Monday after a three-day visit and after assuring that the proposed astro-turf at the Maulana Bhasani Stadium is close to reality, as he had held fruitful discussions with the state minister for youth and sports Biren Shikder MP and president of Bangladesh Hockey Federation Air Marshal Enamul Bari.
“I had two issues for coming here, one was to inaugurate the school hockey tournament and the other was to talk about the development of hockey in Bangladesh, especially about the turf at the national stadium. I can say that the turf is close to reality as I had fruitful discussions with all the parties. I will be back in September to inaugurate the new turf as well as the World Hockey League and a MoU will be signed with the BHF in the meantime,” said Negre at a press conference at the Bangladesh Olympic Association yesterday.
The turf will cost around 300,000 dollars and International Olympic Committee will bear half the cost while FIH will bear one quarter and the rest will be provided from Bangladesh.
The FIH president also made a pledge about providing a 40-square-feet sand-filled turf free of cost at one of the schools in Dhaka, although the name of the school was not mentioned. The turf will be provided by the Sports Technology International, a sports pitch manufacturing company whose managing director Stephen Niven inspected some of the feasible locations.
Negre also informed that they have discussed about the floodlights at the hockey stadium with an American company, but the details of it are yet to be finalised.