Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the players who will play the World Cup Football for Bangladesh in future will be coming out from school and other tournaments.
"Bangladesh will play the World Cup Football in future and the players will be coming out from the tournaments," she said.
She was addressing the prize distribution ceremony of Bangabandhu Gold Cup Primary School Football Tournament-2022 and Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Gold Cup Primary School Football Tournament-2022 held at the Army Stadium in the capital.
The Prime Minister asked all concerned to hold more sports competitions such as the inter-school, inter-upazila and inter-district, inter-college and inter-university competitions across the country that help finding out the real talents.
Apart from sports, she said, all should put emphasis on cultural practices, reading books of stories, history, science and technology alongside the textbooks to groom the primary school students as worthy citizens.
The Prime Minister asked the students to be attentive to studies to groom yourselves as worthy ones, saying: "You are the main strength for Bangladesh."
"The sports is the means of physical exercise. Sports brings mental strength and makes the mind further liberal... Alongside sports, you will have to pay attention to studies as well. You will have to prepare yourselves as the worthy citizens of an independent country," she said.
The premier said: "You all will have to prepare yourselves with human qualities."
Sheikh Hasina hoped that the children of Bangladesh will show excellent performance in every sector, including study, sports and games, alongside cultural programmes and bring dignity for the country, joining in the international competitions.
"Today, we've transformed the country into a Digital Bangladesh and we are working to build the country as Smart Bangladesh in future. You will be the main strength of Smart Bangladesh," she said.
Sheikh Hasina asked the children to maintain a disciplined life always, obey the guardians, teachers and parents, maintain good terms with their peers and behave well with disabled persons, including the autistic ones.
"You'll have to prepare yourselves on the whole. Keep in mind from now on that you will be the most qualified and will build you as the worthiest citizen," she said.
Earlier, the premier enjoyed the second half of the grand final held between Nalma Government Primary School (Ghatail, Tangail) of Dhaka Division and Bancharampur Model Government Primary School (Brahmanbaria) of Chittagong Division.
Bancharampur Model Government Primary School clinched the title of Bangamata Gold Cup-2022 defeating Nalma Government Primary School in the grand final match.
Purba Panchapukur Primary Government School (Nilphamari Sadar) of Rangpur Division won the title of Bangabandhu Gold Cup-2022 beating Binodpur Collegepara Govt Primary School (Rajbari Sadar)of Dhaka Division in the grand final match.
A total of 11,13,993 boys from 65,529 schools and 11,13,976 girls from 65,528 schools participated in the countrywide tournaments of 2022, arranged by the Primary and Mass Education Ministry.
The Prime Minister distributed prizes and medals among the members of the champion and runner up teams of the two tournaments.
In the Bangabandhu Gold Cup Tournament, highest scorer (4 goals) Jahim and best player Monirul Islam, both from Purba Panchapukur Primary School, received the golden boot and the golden ball alongside prize money respectively from the premier.
In the Bangamata Gold Cup Tournament, highest scorer Nur Nahar Akter of Bancharampur Model Primary School and Rumi of Nalma Primary School received the golden boot and the golden ball along with prize money respectively from Sheikh Hasina.
State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Zakir Hossen and Primary and Mass Education Secretary Farid Ahmed spoke at the function.
Mentioning that that she is a member of a football family, Sheikh Hasina said her grandfather, father and brothers -Sheikh Kamal and Sheikh Jamal-- used to play football.
"Sheikh Kamal is the architect of today's modern football in Bangladesh ," she said.
She said Abahani Krira Chakra was founded in the hand of Sheikh Kamal.
"He had contributed to the development of the sports in this country," she said, adding that Kamal and Jamal were involved in all sorts of sports including football and hockey.
The PM said Kamal's wife Sultana was a sports person and Jamal's wife Rosy was also an expert in sports.
"So, I am a person of a football family. My grandchildren love to play football as well and they play football. Sheikh Rehana's grandchildren also play football," she said.
Assuming power in 2009, she said, her government started the development of sports from the grassroots and introduced inter-school sports competitions.
The premier congratulated the champions and the runner-ups of the tournaments.