Swadhin Bangla football team deserves state recognition: Pintu

Dhaka – Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association (BSJA) arranged an open discussion on “Participation and Role of Sportsmen in the Liberation War 1971” at its office in the Bangabandhu National Stadium premises Wednesday afternoon.

During the discussion, Captain of the Swadhin Bangla football team Zakaria Pintu, Vice-Captain Pratap Sankar Hazra and booter Sheikh Ashraf Ali recalled the memories and their contribution during the Liberation War.
Veteran sports journalist Mohammad Quamruzzaman, BCB Director Ahmed Sajjadul Alam Boby, BSJA President Motahar Hossain Masum and general secretary Raihan Al Mugni also took part in the discussion.
In their addresses, they noted that there is no other instance from world history where footballers played such an important role in creating public opinion and raising funds for a nation’s liberation movement.
They also recalled the roles of late cricketer Shaheed Jewel and swimmer Arun Nandi during the liberation period.
Captain Zakaria Pintu said, “I was the first captain of Bangladesh National Football team, led the Dhaka Mohammedan SC for eight years, we hoisted the national flag for the first time abroad (in nKrishnagar, India). My highest achievement in life was the captaincy of Swadhin Bangla football team, but my only frustration was not getting national or Independence award from state as a team, which we deserved.”
Vice Captain Pratap Sankar Hazra reminisced how present BFF President Kazi Salahuddin played for the team under the under the alias Turjo Hazra, combining his nickname Turjo with the vice-captain’s surname Hazra, considering the security of his family members who were then staying in Dhaka.UNB