Monday, September 05, 2011


Being Poor Is No Excuse...Just Pay Up

This week maybe World Cup Qualifier week but for the good people of Bangladesh there is a chance to see Lionel Messi and his Bangladesh team strut their stuff in a friendly against Nigeria in the capital city, Dhaka.

The Argentine side will fly into Dhaka on the national airline, Bangladesh Biman, which will be an eye opener in itself. Having lived in Dhaka for a few years I have done the short hop to Kolkata a few times and often had to change my underwear on arrival.

Cheapest tickets for the one off friendly are a whopping 7,500 BDT which equates to about 100 USD! A small fortune in this incredibly poor country. Other tickets are priced at 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 30,000 and 50,000 BDT which works out about, umm, well you can do the maths.

Undoubtedly a great coup for Bangladesh but to be fair any country willing to stump up the necessary cash could have hosted the Argentinians on their Asian tour. Previously they played Venezuela in Kolkata in front of 80,000 fans.

Make no mistake. These games are nothing to do with improving Bangladesh, or India's, standing on the world stage. It's about milking a customer for all he's worth and for officials to have there 'and this was the time I met Messi' moment.

It's not football, it's a travelling circus with locals oohing and ahhing their adopted heroes while the great players will be insulated from the poverty that assaults the senses on the streets of Dhaka.

football in india and bangladesh ? nah , they rather watch tendulkar vs muralithiran then watch messi vs neymar !!!!!!
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