The Bangladesh national football team is the nationally recognized football team of Bangladesh and is controlled by the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF). It is a member of the Asian Football Confederation and became a member of FIFA in 1974. Although the Bangladesh Football Federation was first established in 1972. Bangladesh was elected as a member of the AFC Executive Committee in 1982-1986 and 1998-2002. Bangladesh Football History.

YearAll Years

The current Executive Committee was democratically elected in April 2008, under the AFC’s approved constitution and under the direct supervision of FIFA and the AFC.

National Team debut

The Bangladesh national team debuted in 1973 and has yet to qualify for the World Cup finals. They were knocked out in the first round of their only Asian Cup to date in 1980. By qualifying for it, Bangladesh is one of only two South Asian countries to achieve the feat. The country’s best results came at the South Asian level where it won the SAFF Championship in 2003 under the coaching of György Kottán and once won the South Asian Games gold medal as a national team. Bangladesh was one of the leading teams in South Asia in the 1980s and early 2000s.

However, since the turn of the century, top-level football in Bangladesh has been play somewhere in the shadow of the country’s national cricket team. This is mostly due to insufficient budget allocation and a lack of adaptation of technical skills. To date, football is a popular sport in Bangladesh but cricket is the most popular sport in the country.

Bangladesh National Football Team

On 26 July 1973, the Bangladeshi football team played their first official game, a 2–2 draw against Thailand during the 1973 Merdeka Cup. Inayat Rahman scored the country’s first international goal and fellow striker Qazi Salahuddin scored the second goal. After the deadlock, the game went to penalties where Bangladesh lost 2-1. Between 27 July 1973 and 14 August 1975, the team played a total of 15 friendly matches, all against Asian teams, 14 of which were held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, resulting in 3 draws 10 losses and 1 Victory.

On 13 August 1973, in the only friendly match that was not held in Malaysia, Bangladesh scored their first win against hosts Singapore 1–0 thanks to a goal by Qazi Salahuddin. A year later, on 18 December 1976, the team played a friendly against a strong Malaysian team, losing 6–0.

Asian Games

The next official matches took place during the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok, Bangladesh again faced Malaysia and their first match against India, both games ended in defeats. In January 1979, the qualifiers for the 1980 AFC Asian Cup began, and surprisingly given their previous record, Bangladesh opened their campaign with draws against Afghanistan and Qatar.

However, despite a heavy 1–3 defeat by Qatar, the team managed to qualify for the main tournament at their first attempt, with their second win, defeating the Afghans 3–2. . In preparation for the Asian Cup, Bangladesh played four more friendlies, losing three of them and suffering their heaviest defeat to date, when they lost 9–0 to South Korea. However, they managed to win one of their games by beating Sri Lanka 3-1.

FIFA World Cup

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – First Round, with Nikola Ilewski as captain. Played just four days after being schedule. This allowed Bangladesh to advance to the second round to face Lebanon. The first game was play on 23 July 2011 in Beirut where the hosts won 4–0. Bangladesh was shut out in the return game in Dhaka, even managing to salvage a 2-0 victory over the Middle Eastern giants. However, the lack of quality players was evident as the nation failed to win a single game during the entire 2011 SAFF Championship.

In January 2013, Ludwijk de Cruyff took charge of the team, and under him. They also failed to progress beyond the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers, a tournament held to help lower-ranked teams. Bangladesh played their first four games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Australia, and Jordan, losing all. But their home game against Tajikistan where they drew 1–1. In March 2016, Bangladesh ended their 2018 World Cup qualifying run with an 8–0 defeat by a Jordanian side managed by Harry Redknapp.

Belgium Coach

On 29 June 2016, the BFF appointed Belgium coach Tom Saint-Faet initially on a short-term contract to lead the national team during the AFC Asia Cup 2019 qualification play-off round 2 matches against Bhutan. Coach Saint-Fayt called on experienced striking duo Jahid Hasan Amli and Inamul-Haq to compete but to no avail.

After a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Dhaka, Bhutan defeated Bangladesh 3-1. At the Changlimthang Stadium in Thimpo during the second leg. The results mean Bangladesh will not be part of any AFC. And FIFA tournaments for the next two years until the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. And 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers. Bangladesh Football History.

World Ranking

As of February 2018, Bangladesh fell to 197th in the FIFA world rankings, the country’s lowest ranking ever. In May 2018, Jamie Day took over the team. Although the team was disappointe during the 2018 SAFF Championship. Bangladesh advanced to the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers after defeating Laos 1–0 on aggregate.

In the next round, they were group with Asian powerhouses Qatar and Oman along with neighboring countries India and Afghanistan. The team managed to earn good draws against India and Afghanistan. And although they suffered some heavy losses in the following games, Bangladesh reached the third round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. A best-of-three fifth-place finish. Bangladesh Football History.

In September 2021, after five consecutive defeats, Day was sack, just before the start of the 2021 SAFF Championship. Interim coach Oscar Brogan, however, was unable to change the country’s fortunes, as Bangladesh once again dominated the tournament. For more details click here