UNICEF and BFF call for girls to follow football dreams in nationwide talent scout

18 March 2021
Bangladesh. An adolescent girl.
UNICEF Bangladesh/2020/Mawa

DHAKA, 18 March 2021: UNICEF and the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) are calling for girls aged 12 to16 years to take part in a nationwide football talent scout. Encouraging girls to play sports is an important step towards challenging gender norms and tackling issues such as gender inequality and child marriage, which greatly harm children and societies.

“Sport has an incredible way of bringing people together. It can completely transform people’s perceptions of girls’ potential and the role they can play in society. Sport has something to offer girls and boys equally. Aside from the physical and mental health benefits, playing sports builds self-esteem, confidence and a sense of self-determination,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh.

School closures and lockdown restrictions have severely limited children’s opportunities for exercising and having fun with their friends over the past year, taking a heavy toll on both their physical and mental health. The football talent scout aims to address the situation by motivating children to become actively involved in sports.

“We are extremely proud of this programme. We know that many girls, particularly those living in remote and hard-to-reach areas, have traditionally been cut off from sports. We hope this initiative can inspire parents and communities to promote girls’ participation in sports. The benefits are enormous and go far beyond the playing field,” said Honourable President of Bangladesh Football Federation Kazi Md Salahuddin.

The girls’ football talent scout is a partnership between UNICEF and BFF to strengthen girls’ participation in sports. The selected girls will play district and divisional tournaments followed by a championship battle in Dhaka. Top players will have the opportunity to receive further training and to eventually join the national women’s football team, acting as role models for millions of girls and boys in Bangladesh.

Children across the country have watched Tanzila in the UNICEF television series Icche Dana overcome prejudices to pursue her dream to become a footballer. Now girls across Bangladesh have the chance to be the change they want to see in their communities and to make their own football dreams come true.

UNICEF Youth Advocate Raba Khan is cheering on girls to take up the challenge:

“Girls are powerful and strong already. They just need the right opportunity and a little encouragement from their families and communities. We must change hearts and minds in Bangladesh – there is no limit to a girl’s ability to play football and other sports. I can’t wait to see these bright young stars display their football skills soon,” said Raba Khan.

Download high-resolution photo: https://uni.cf/38I73Yk

Media contacts

Amiya Dhara Halder
UNICEF Bangladesh
Tel: +8801701209290
Mahfuza Akhter Kiron
Bangladesh Football Federation
Tel: +8801713 010089


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.bd

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About Bangladesh Football Federation

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is the governing body of football in Bangladesh. BFF runs the men's and women's national football teams, in addition to the Bangladesh Premier League and various other competitions and tournaments, visit www.bff.com.bd. Follow BFF on Twitter and Facebook.