The curtain on the 4th Roll Ball World Cup rose with a glitzy opening ceremony at the newly-constructed Sheikh Russell Roller Skating Complex in Dhaka on Friday.
Hosts Bangladesh gave the tournament right kind of impetus beating Hong Kong 19-1 in the opening match, which, however, had to be held in a different venue due to some mismanagement.
The proceedings of the opening ceremony left the Roller Skating complex in total disarray forcing the organisers of the tournament to shift the opening game near to the handball ground.
The game, which started one-and-half hour late, saw Bangladesh conceding a goal in just 20 seconds but the home side took very little time to restore the parity and take the control.
Once the equaliser came in 35 seconds Bangladesh never looked back and took a 7-1 lead in the first half.
Though the original duration of game is 40 minutes, due to the formalities of the opening ceremony, the organisers in a bizarre move reduced it to 30-minute affair with 15 minutes in each half.
Bangladesh added 12 more goals in the second half to come out with a convincing win and a signal to their fellow title contenders.
Ridoy scored highest nine goals for the home side while Sohag netted four and Arafat scored three goals. Sagor scored the remaining two goals to play his part for the hosts, who will face Bhutan in their second Group B match today.
Around 600 players from 40 countries are participating in the eight-day long event, making it an extravaganza for the skating lovers across the world.
Planning minister AHM Mostafa Kamal inaugurated the event after the colourful opening ceremony which was attended by players and officials of every participating team.
The participating players danced to the tune of West Indian cricket star Dwain Bravo’s musical invention ‘ champions,’ creating a festive mood in the opening ceremony.
Sri Lanka men’s team performed a dance show, which left the audiences spellbound.
However, an awkward situation was created when it was found that the unplanned opening ceremony caused serious damage to the playing surface, forcing the organisers to think of shifting some of the opening day’s matches.
The designated company also failed to clear the stage, causing some delay.
Tournament director Ravindra Kapil said the last minute changes wouldn’t affect the whole tournament much.
‘We have enough time and space in our hand to reschedule the matches,’ he said, promising to repair the damage of playing surface newly-constructed venue in 24 hours.
‘The event management company left the complex damaged while installing a temporary stage for the opening ceremony,’ he said. ‘But we will repair the damages by tonight [Friday]’ he said.
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