Promising tennis players Mahadi Hasan Alve and Mashfia Afrin feared about their career after their families were asked to leave the National Tennis Complex in Ramna, where they were living for years.
Alve, who represented Bangladesh in ITF Under-14 Asian Championship in Thailand this year, is the son of federation’s caretaker Abdul Latif while Mashfia, the first Bangladeshi girl to play in the same competition, is the daughter of administrative officer Mahmud Alam.
Bangladesh Tennis Federation sacked Latif and Mahmud from their job on October 29 and asked them to evacuate their quarters, putting the careers of their under threat.
‘I heard that my father lost his job and we have to leave this place within a week. I think, I will not be to continue as a tennis player,’ Alve, awarded by Bangladesh Sports Press Association as the emerging player of country this year, told New Age.
‘I had a dream or you can say it as my target that one day I will represent Bangladesh in the Grand Slam, even if for once. But if my father loses his job and we have to leave the place, my future in tennis will be totally off,’ said ninth-grader Alve with his mother Akhi staying aside him with teary eyes.
Alve said his father used to get only Tk 8,000 as monthly salary after serving the federation for last 32 years in different capacities and even if he can manage a similar job elsewhere he cannot pursue his tennis career.
‘Here we already went through many hardships. There are nights which I passed eating just one banana... I don’t know how I will play tennis if we leave this place,’ said Alve, who started playing tennis from 2011 and became champions in different age-level like Under-8, Under-10 and Under-12s.
Alve become fourth in his first appearance in Davis Cup in 2011 among 39 players and emerged champion in Bijoy Dibos tournament in the same year.
He became qualifying round champion in the ITF Under-12 Tennis Tournament beating seven South Asian countries competitors in Nepal in 2017, and played main round in Kazakhstan to be team champions.
‘The Federation gave us shelter. Now they are telling us to leave. I think now Alve also has to leave tennis. I do not know what I will do next,’ said Latif.
The situation of Mashfia, a member of Bangladesh squad for the next SA Games, is little better than Alve as her father Mahmud left their quarters on Friday and shifted to a rented house.
But it gave Mashfia very little comfort given the manner in which her father was terminated from his job after a bitter row with federation secretary Golam Morshed.
‘He [BTF secretary Golam Morshed] gave me a letter where I was motioned as a ‘self-proclaimed official’ and exempted me from my job. I lost my job and leaving this place definitely. But I am afraid it will hamper her [Mashfia] career,’ said Mahmud, who did not allow his daughter to speak on the matter.
Mahmud started his career with BTF from 1997 as a computer operator and gradually moved into his latest position as admin officer in 2011.
BTF secretary Morshed defended their decision saying that they asked the families of the players to vacant their quarters as per the rule.
‘If we allow their family to stay here, other players’ family will also make same demand,’ he said.
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