Yousuf Zulkurnain Hoque, only 17 years of age, had his dream call up by the Bangladesh National Football Team to play in the current South Asian Football Federation or SAFF Championship.
From the tender age of 7, Yousuf started his illustrious footballing journey and ended up playing in the Ipswich Town FC under 18 team. But his mind was set on Bangladesh as his late grandfather Alhaj Md Abdus Satrar was a gallant freedom fighter of the 1971 liberation war.
As a renowned striker, Yousuf also regularly plays in the midfield. He has excellent pace, control and vision with the ball.
His father Shohidul Hoque, also a passionate footballer with a deep-rooted history in Bangladesh, dropped off Yousuf to the airport on Monday. He was so happy and said “Yousuf was supposed to go weeks ago. However, due to travel restrictions he missed out playing in the SAFF Championship from the start”. Shohidul and his family made great sacrifices for Yousuf. “The journey wasn’t easy. It’s the first call up of an expatriate since the creation of Bangladesh and all I ask for are duas and prayers from everyone. For the safety and well-being of my Yousuf.” Added Shohidul.
All the 7 South Asian countries compete in the Covid19 delayed SAFF Championship from October 1-16 with the current host and champions being Maldives.