Girls overcome odds to thrive in football

Arifur Rahman | Updated at 11:06pm on March 08, 2018


The six participating teams of the underprivileged women’s football tournament attend the opening ceremony at the Dhaka University Central field on Thursday. — New Age photo

Despite encountering repeated refusals from her family, Meherunnesa Hafsa preferred to view her football journey on a positive note.
Hafsa, a seventh-grader at Tejgaon Adarsha School and College, never thought her parents would allow her to play football.
But they have now escorted her to the 3rd Shokhi Nari Football Tournament, something that Hafsa could not imagine even in her wildest dreams.
A jubilant Hafsa, whose Auronodoy Mohakhali team clinched the title in the tournament, said that she wants to be a national footballer one day.
Hafsa’s father Mokhlesur Rahman, an employee at Dhaka Polytechnic Institute, said that he had a guiltily feeling now as previously he had barred his daughter from taking part in any kind of sporting event.
‘I thought this type of sports is not for girls. So I was reluctant to allow her playing football,’ said Mokhlesur at the Dhaka University Central field.
‘But now I found she was doing well. I hope one day my daughter will represent the country.’
The story was almost same for all other girls, who participated in the tournament, as they faced with a tough choice between their footballing passion and the aspirations of their family members.
Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust and Bangladesh Football Federation jointly organised the football tournament for the underprivileged women, marking the International Women’s Day.
A total of six teams from different slums of the city took part in the in the two-day long competition
held at Textile Engineering University ground and Dhaka University Central field.
The participating teams are – Auronodoy Mohakhali, Tejoshini Mohakhali, Anirban Mirpur, Durbar Mohammadpur, Aniruddha Mohakhali and Duranta Mohakhali.
Auronodoy Mohakhali clinched the title by defeating Durbar Mohammadpur 2-0 in the final.
Sumi and Lamia from Auronodoy Mohakhali scored the goals to claim their first ever title.
While addressing the prize giving ceremony as the chief guest, parliamentarian Kazi Rozi said that women football is playing a vital role in Bangladesh to make the women believe that they can do anything if they want something from the core of the hearts, breaking the stereotypes.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Nizamul Haque, FIFA executive committee member and the chairman of BFF women’s wing Mahfuza Akter Kiron were present among others during the final.