We, the players, deserve better: Sabina
Bangladesh women's football team captain Sabina Khatun believes no other women footballer will leave the camp following the retirement of Sirat Jahan Swapna but urged the Bangladesh Football Federation to solve the grievances and fulfil the needs of the players.
The 29-year-old striker acknowledged the BFF's efforts towards the women's team but also pointed out that the players deserved better.
"I don't think any other girl will leave the camp. Leaving football is a loss for the girls, especially after considering the position where Bangladesh women's football stands," Sabina told the reporters after a sports award ceremony at a city hotel today.
"After the success, the federation might not have provided any financial help to us but the financial help from outside the federation is a matter of honour for the players. Of course, Bangladesh Football Federation is working for the country's women's football by keeping the girls together for five to six years which is unique and they deserve the thanks but at the same time, we, the players, also deserve better," said Sabina.
Sabina also added that she tried to convince Swapna to come back to the camp but she said the striker was unwilling to return to football.
Since the SAFF Women's Championship triumph in September 2022, the national women's football team have not played a single international match and their demand to increase the salary has also not been met yet despite the promise from the football federation.
"As every player has grievances and needs, I believe it will be better if the federation can solve it as soon as possible," she said.
Sabina also hoped that the Women's Super League will commence soon as they skipped the Indian Women's League to play the country's franchise league.
"I don't know about WSL (Women's Super League). Due to WSL, Krishna, Sanjida, Swapna and I could not go to play the Indian Women's League but the WSL has not rolled into the ground yet and that left the footballers in losses because they could have earned some money and valuable experience from the Indian Women's League. So far, I heard that the WSL will pan out and I hope it will finally take place," said Sabina.
The announcement of coach Golam Rabbani Choton also hurt the prolific striker but the striker said she believes that Choton will change his decision to stay with the women's team.
"Of course, the departure of Choton Sir is a big loss for women's football. What the girls got from Choton Sir is priceless and of course, we don't want to lose him. We hope he will come back to us," Sabina said. "Look, when the father or mother of a family passes away, the family is crippled. As he (Choton) has been with our family for a long time, there will be some initial impact of his departure."
Asked whether a new coach can adapt quickly to the women's them, Sabina replied, "It is a sensitive matter when it comes to the girls. And, if it is women's football, then no fresh coach can deal with the girls because it is a big place and I think problems can arise if sir leaves us."