Cell phone giants Nokia renewed their sponsorship deal with the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) for a second year.
Under the renewed deal, Nokia will now sponsor the national team shirts and also BFF’s youth development programme, which will be called the Nokia-BFF Youth Development Programme. The Finland based mobile phone manufacturers have previously sponsored the national team in last year’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifiers in Kyrgyzstan, South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championships in Colombo and in the Grand Royal Challenge Cup in Myanmar.
BFF boss Kazi Salahuddin along with Managing Director of Nokia Bangladesh Prem Chand informed reporters in a joint press conference that the new contract gives football a new dimension and will take the sport forward in the long run.
“Nokia has been our partner for a year now and today they have agreed to take the partnership forward for the next year. Part of the sponsorship will be towards the national team and part of it will be to our youth development programme. I have not sat down and categorized as to how the money will be apportioned but as long as it goes into football we are happy,” said Salahuddin.
The Bangaldesh national football team will now sport Nokia shirts in the upcoming AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers for Group A, which starts this Sunday and for all matches at home and abroad.
Nokia Bangladesh Managing Director Prem Chand trusted that this collaboration will develop Bangladesh football from its grassroots.
“Through this programme, football in Bangladesh will develop from its roots. Young and talented players will be scouted and trained by BFF coaches. We also need to ensure that youngsters are taking a keen interest in the game and for that we need to nurture and reward the players. Bangladesh are currently number 174 in the FIFA rankings and we want to bring it in the top 150 as one of our short-term goals,” explained Prem.
At the press conference Nokia’s Prem Chand also stated that an association of this kind will only compliment both parties and be mutually beneficial.
“In the past year football has taken a completely new dimension in terms of raking in corporate sponsorship and crowd attention. Nokia is pleased at the overwhelming attention and crowd response to the B. League and Super Cup generated in the past months.”
Prem also cited these successes of the BFF as one of the reasons of the sponsorship. He praised the inspirational leadership of Kazi Salahuddin and believed that football in the nation can go from strength to strength and attain greater heights.