Bangladesh Youth Football Academy kicks off

The Emirates Airline-supported Canary Wharf Bangladesh Youth Football Academy kicked into action mode when British coach Anthony Ferguson flew into Dhaka to begin a nationwide hunt for U-14 football stars. The search for Bangladesh's next rising star began with 4,500 young hopefuls from various districts. These were filtered down to 150 young footballers by Bangladeshi trainers, from which coach Ferguson selected 36 players for international-standard coaching that could see some of them play for leading English Premiership clubs in the future.

During his week-long stay in Dhaka, Ferguson personally trained the 36 young footballers at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan. "I found their attitude absolutely fantastic," he said. "With the help of Bangladesh's top football tutors, we hope to train them to become future football stars of the country."

Zakir Khan, manager Community and sports development, Canary Wharf Group, who accompanied Ferguson said the initiatives aims to "regain the past glory of Bangladeshi football," adding "there are strong chances that two or three exceptional players form the final group of 36 may get the opportunity to visit London, where the Canary Wharf Group conducts a similar programme in a British-Bangladeshi inhabited community.

Hanif Zakaria, Emirates' area manager Bangladesh told South Asian Media that sports sponsorship is a vital part of Emirates growth strategy. "It provides us with a platform to connect with our customers, by sharing and supporting their interests and passions, " he said.

See also: London firm sponsors Bangladesh U-14 program (2 Oct)