21st August, 2011
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is inundated with requests from supporters and sponsors all desperate to grab a piece of the action when Argentina and the Super Eagles of Nigeria clash in an international friendly in Dhaka next month.
The two teams will play in a rematch scheduled for the Bangabandhu National Stadium on 6 September.
The Nigerian Eagles had on 1 June beaten the Argies 4-1 at the National Stadium, Abuja, a defeat that generated controversy among Argentinean football stakeholder.
The 6 September rematch is being described as the biggest ever soccer event to be held in Bangladesh.
Reuters report that World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi will lead a star-studded Argentina team to Dhaka with Nigeria also sending a full-strength side.
“We are overwhelmed by the response from the fans. Sponsors are showing a lot of interest,” Anwarul Huq, chairman of the match organising committee, told Reuters.
Local media reported that the BFF was selling the rights of everything associated with the match – from an official dinner to the bus bringing the teams to the venue.
A local event management firm has bought the rights for the dinner where a maximum of 250 seats will be available for supporters to eat with officials, sponsors and the teams.
There will also be an auction for supporters attending the dinner where they can buy different souvenirs and autographed pictures and shirts of famous players.
The BFF are also closing in on a deal with a local sponsor, who will brand a vehicle carrying Argentina fans to follow the team bus carrying Messi and his team mates, officials said.
Twice world champions Argentina are hugely popular in soccer-obsessed Bangladesh where their former captain and coach Diego Maradona is worshiped like a demigod.
Argentina will also play Venezuela on 2 September in neighbouring Indian city Kolkata, while Nigeria’s Eagles will take on Madagascar in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on 9 September in Antanarivo.