Trophy at Radisson, not BNS
After daylong confusion about the venue of display of the FIFA World Cup trophy, it was confirmed last night that the display will take place at the Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel, instead of at the Bangabandu National Stadium (BNS) as originally scheduled. Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin and Coca Cola's country manager Debashish Deb briefed the media at the hotel shortly before 9:00pm saying that the display will take place at the hotel as there are logistical issues involved which are not feasible at the BNS.
“This is due to logistics that we cannot afford at the BNS. It was our fault that we had fixed the programme at BNS, without really analysing all the logistical issues. We have been instructed from the Coca Cola head office in Atlanta and Zurich (FIFA head office) to hold it here at the hotel because they want to keep track of who is getting in and out of the venue,” said Salahuddin, claiming that it was not due to any security reasons.
“Only the venue has been shifted, but the programmes of the two days will remain the same and the ticket-holders will be able to enjoy the programmes,” said Deb. Earlier however, a Coca Cola official had said that the event may have to be curtailed.
The press briefing came two hours after the trophy was unveiled before the media, which itself was deferred by more than an hour. A scheduled interactive session with the media was called off as the FIFA delegates, Coca Cola representatives and BFF officials all left without answering questions.
It was learnt that BFF had tried all day to convince FIFA to hold the trophy display at the BNS, which had undergone all the preparations for the two-day display. It has also been learnt from an unconfirmed source that FIFA had expressed their unwillingness for the trophy to travel and be put on public display at the BNS on security grounds.
None of the BFF officials, FIFA and Coca Cola representatives however cited security fears as the reason to shift the venue. The securities committee chairman and BFF member Sheikh Mohammad Maruf Hasan confirmed that the highest level of security was ensured.