BFF to meet African trio today over citizenship

July 1, 2015

Bangladesh Football Federation will sit with the three African footballers — Ismail Bangoura, Samad Yussif and Kingsley Chigozi — today to know their decisions about accepting Bangladeshi citizenship in order to make them available for the national team. Even though the move did not go well with many local football experts, BFF decided to press further on the issue.‘It is an international practice, we are trying that too,’ BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag told reporters on Tuesday.
Former footballers and coaches said the decision will not bring any long-term benefit for the national team saying that that the average age of the African football trio have already crossed 30.
‘Giving them citizenship does not necessarily mean that they will obviously play in the national team’, said Shohag. ‘This will increase the competitiveness among the local players.’
Shohag said they will discuss about their demands and requirements during the meeting and will try to help them get citizenship as soon as possible.
‘We cannot confirm the date when the process will finish. But we will do all the necessary things to help them get the citizenship as soon as possible,’ he said.
According to a FIFA rule, a foreign player must play a minimum of five years on a particular country to represent it at international level.
Abahani’s Ghanaian defender Samad Yussif is the only player who is eligible at the moment, according to the rule.
Mohammedan’s Guinean striker Bangoura and Sheikh Russell’s Nigerian striker Kingsley will have to wait till September to be eligible for the national team.

-Input from New Age

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