Special Supplement

Sheikh Kamal’s contributions to sports

Published : 04 Aug 2019 09:34 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 08:51 PM

Dhaka Abahani Limited formerly known as Abahani Krira Chakra  was founded in 1972 by Sheikh Kamal, the eldest son of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

In domestic football, they have achieved a record of winning six Bangladesh Football Premier League titles.

The club won their first major domestic trophy in 1974 when they clinched the title of Dhaka League. The very name of the club sent shivers down the spine of the fans who went to watch every match the club played against other giant clubs of the time, such as Mohamedan, Rahmatganj, Wari, Victoria, Brothers Union, Farashganj and so on.

In the 70’s and 80s, the most enjoyable game, especially football, used to divide Dhaka City into two camps. The new Dhaka fans used to support Abahani and the old Dhaka, obviously  Mohamedan. The Dhaka Stadium used to see hundreds of fans shouting and cheering players of clubs of their choice as well as jeering at the supporters of rival camps.

Abahani had introduced modern football in Bangladesh in the 70s and won many matches with brilliant display of control, dribble, passes and finishing. Salahuddin became a name uttered in every house those days. He was followed by others like  Nannu, Amalesh, Zakaria, Pintu, Munna. Soon Abahani became an organisation devoting resources to create future footballers and cricketers.  Through the decades the club also excelled in many other sports.  

 In 2007, Bangladesh Football Premier League was introduced by Bangladesh Football Federation. Dhaka Abahani won the 2007 B.League which was the first edition of the league.

Dhaka Abahani Limited claimed their hat-trick titles of the Bangladesh Football Premier League by winning 2008–09 B.League and 2009–10 Bangladesh League respectively.  After a one-season break, Dhaka Abahani won their fourth league trophy by winning 2012 Bangladesh Football Premier League. After a long trophyless run, Dhaka Abahani won the title of 2016 Bangladesh Federation Cup. 

They also won the title of 2016 Bangladesh Football Premier League with an unbeaten record. The team became the first one to win the professional league title with an unbeaten record under the guidance of experienced coach György Kottán. It was their fifth professional league title.

Dhaka Abahani started their 2016–17 season by retaining the title of 2017 Bangladesh Federation Cup. Equaling the record of arch-rival Dhaka Mohammedan, it was the 10th Bangladesh Federation Cup title for Abahani.  On 5 January 2018, Abahani also emerged as the champion of the Bangladesh Premier League for the record sixth time after they edged Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club 2–0 to confirm their second straight title with a game in hand. The club dedicated the title to their lifelong coach and former player Amalesh Sen, who died in October, 2017.