Football power struggle reaches Bangladesh
As the power struggle gets intense for the FIFA executive committee seat from Asia in upcoming elections, Bangla-desh gets into the scene.
The Asian football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam expects to overcome a hostile challenge for his FIFA seat, which the powerful Qatari has not lost since winning the West Asian seat in 1996.
But after Bahraini football president Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa last month announced plans to contest, the battle drums have started to beat.
And Salman's brief visit to Dhaka on Saturday, he was accompanied by four on a private jet, to meet Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin will no doubt irk a lot of people.
Salahuddin, however, sees nothing wrong in it.
"We just discussed issues about future of Asian football," Salahuddin told The Daily Star yesterday.
"He told us what could be the future of Bangladesh and other Asian countries and how Bahrain could help us."
Two officials of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) were also present as the group had dinner at a local hotel before the tourists left the same night. It was learnt that Salman, reportedly being backed by the IOC, brought Olympic bosses with him.
It is guessed that with BFF showing signs of development in the last year, everyone is interested in Bangladesh football but it could have been nothing but an election campaign.
The AFC chief, who has extended his helping hands in rebuilding Bangladesh football in recent times, himself is due to arrive in Dhaka this month with a 12-member team, also to discuss development of the game.
Bin Hammam has been credited with a number of reforms, including the AFC's "Vision Asia" grassroots development programmes and helping in FIFA's Goal Project, which has helped provide facilities for cash-strapped countries including Bangladesh.
But after Salman's visit, there would definitely be talks about votes and more promises for the May 8 polls.