Bangladesh preparing open-top bus to welcome SAFF women champions

BRTC is removing the roof of a double-decker bus at the request of the Ministry of Youth and Sports

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 20 Sept 2022, 02:52 PM
Updated : 20 Sept 2022, 02:52 PM

Authorities are preparing an open-top double-decker bus for the reception and parade of the unbeaten Bangladesh team who clinched the South Asian women's football crown for the first time, breaking India's 12-year monopoly on the trophy.

Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation or BRTC started removing the roof of a double-decker bus on Tuesday morning at the request of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Bangladesh thrashed five-time finalists and hosts Nepal 3-1 to win the SAFF Women’s Championship title at Kathmandu's Dasharath Rangasala Stadium on Monday, having earlier edged defending champions India in the group stage, again for the first time.

Fans flooded social media with posts demanding that the winners be welcomed from the airport on an open-top bus upon their return.

State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russel said on Monday they were considering giving a reception to the women’s team in an open-top bus.

“The Ministry of Youth and Sports put forward the proposal on Monday night. We started removing the top of an Ashok Leyland double-decker bus at our Motijheel depot on Tuesday morning. It will be fully ready by tonight,” said BRTC Chairman Md Tajul Islam on Tuesday.

“We’ll decorate the bus after cutting the roof. We’ll remove some seats on the upper deck. We are making arrangements so that the footballers can sit or stand while celebrating after departing the airport.

“Their achievement is unprecedented. People of the country will also join the celebrations. BRTC will also participate in this joyous ride. That is why we are converting the bus into an open-roof one at the request of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.”

HOW THE WINNING TEAM WILL BE RECEIVED

The Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Bangladesh Football Federation or BFF will co-organise the reception of the footballers. They have finalised the route for the victory parade from the airport to the BFF.

The sports minister, secretary and BFF officials will receive the footballers upon their arrival at Dhaka's Shahjalal International Airport at 1:50pm on Wednesday.

“We will welcome the girls with flowers and sweets. There could be a press briefing after that,” said BFF General Secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag at a press conference.

“Then they will leave on an open-top bus. We have confirmed the bus, and branding work is underway. The sound system will play football or sports-related songs. Our heroic footballers will come to the Motijheel BFF building by that bus where the BFF president will receive them with flowers. After that, the reception will end with light refreshments and a photo session.”

From the airport, the bus with the winning girls will go to the BFF office via Kakoli, Mohakhali flyover, Shaheed Jahangir Gate, Bijoy Sarani, Tejgaon, Mouchak, Kakrail, Fakirapul, Arambagh, and Shapla Chattar.

The route plan will be finalised after discussion with the traffic control authority, said Abu Nayeem. He also hinted at more celebrations after the day of their return with the trophy.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
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