|Full name||Kazi Md. Salahuddin|
|Date of birth||23 September 1954|
|Place of birth||Dhaka, East Bengal (now Bangladesh)|
|1970||Mohammedan Sporting Club|
|1975-1976||Caroline Hill FC|
|1971||Shadhin Bangla Football Team|
|1985-1987||Dhaka Abahani (Manager)|
|1992-1994||Dhaka Abahani (Manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Kazi Md. Salahuddin (Bengali: ? ?) (born 23 September 1953) is a Bangladeshi former football player. He was a member of the Shadhin Bangla Football Team, the team which played across India to raise funds during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Salahuddin is the first professional football player from the country to play abroad in the professional league in Hong Kong and considered to be one of Bangladesh's most famous football players. He was a member of the Bangladesh national football team, retiring in 1983.
Salahuddin was born in an elite family on 23 September 1954 in Dhaka, East Bengal. Salahuddin enrolled in BAF Shaheen College and became involved in athletics there. While Salahuddin was in seventh grade he was selected for his school football team and was the youngest member of his team. In 1968, Salahuddin started playing cricket for Azad Boys in the Premier division cricket league. Later that year, he joined the second division football club, Dilkusha Club, at the request of his sports teacher. Following a troublesome period, Dilkusha Club won the championship that season and were promoted to the premiership. The next year, Salahuddin left the Dilkusha Club to join Wari Club, which was a renowned club during that period. In 1970, he joined Mohammedan Sporting Club, the leading club of East Pakistan. Mohamedan was the main rival of Abahani, the club that he spent most of his career.
At the start of 1971, Salahuddin went to West Pakistan to play in the regional championship for Dhaka. After the tournament he was called to join the camp for the Pakistan national football team. He came back to Dhaka on 20 March but was only in the country for five days when a planned military pacification carried out by the Pakistan Army to curb the Bengali nationalist movement in erstwhile East Pakistan called Operation Searchlight started. His family wanted him to go to London as Salahuddin wanted to take part in the Bangladesh Liberation War. His father agreed and he crossed the border to reach Agartala where he joined the training camp for the guerilla soldiers. In 1971, he heard about Shadhin Bangla Football Team, a team of Bangladeshi football players who played in India to raise money and awareness about the war, from a photo journalist. The journalist, from Kolkata, convinced him to play for the team and explained to him the importance about growing public support for the war. Salahuddin decided to play and went to Kolkata on a Cargo Plane of the Indian Air Force. In Kolkata, he met with many of his teammates from Dhaka and played his first match for the team against Mohun Bagan, a team from Kolkata. He carried on to play in different parts of India with his team to raise money and create public support for Bangladesh.
Following the independence of Bangladesh, Salahuddin came back to the country. Sheikh Kamal asked him to join the newly formed Abahani, which later became one of the major club in Bangladesh. Salahuddin refused and told him that he would only join if the team was strong. Later, Kamal managed seven national team members and Salahuddin joined them. In the meantime, he played cricket for Azad Boys and made his career best of 94 runs against Abahani. Eventually he decided to step down from Cricket and refused a call from the national squad. Later he stayed at the club for the most of his remaining career.
Salahuddin made his International debut in football at Malaysia in 1975 at the Merdeka Cup. At the end of the tournament he and his fellow players came to know about the Assassination of Sheikh Mujib. Coming back to Dhaka Salahuddin saw Abahani devastated and decided to leave the country. So he accepted the proposal to play at the Hong Kong League. There he played for Caroline Hill FC for one season. He came back after playing a solitaire season and rejoined Abahani. Kazi Salahuddin is the first ever Bangladeshi Football Player to have a Foreign Football Club Appearance as a Professional Football Player in Bangladesh Football History. In total he made thirty official appearances for the national team and scored 10 times in 1973 he scored against Thailand and also against Singapore. In 1975 merdeka football tournament he scored against hong Kong,Thailand and against Myanmar. In 1979 Asian cup qualifiers he scored against Qatar in a 4-1 loss but ended up scoring the winning goal against Afghanistan in a 4-0 win which saw them qualify for the 1980 AFC Asian Cup. In the main tournament he scored a goal against North Korea in narrow 3-2 loss. He also scored a hattrick against Malaysia.
For the next eight years he regularly scored for his club. He went on to become the highest scorer in four seasons that was in 1973 when he scored 24 goals, in 1977 with 14 goals, in 1979 with 14 goals and in 1980 Dhaka league with 15 goals. In 1984, at the peak of his form, Salahuddin decided to retire from football. His two goals in the last league match against Brothers Union brought him the title.
After retiring from football, Kazi Salahuddin has entered into a new chapter of his career. He became the manager of Abahani in 1985. Under his leadership Abahani crowned as title holder of 1985 Senior Division Football League.Salahuddin also became the manager of Bangladesh Football Team in that year. Salahuddin coached Abahani till 1987. In 1988, Salahuddin took charge as Bangladesh manager in the Asian Cup football Qualifying round in Abu Dhabi. After some days break, Salahuddin became the Abahani coach again in 1992.in 1994, Salahuddin resigned from Abahani as coach and joined Muktijoddha FC. Muktijoddha was the last club of his career as coach.
He became vice-president of the Bangladesh Football Federation in 2003 and subsequently became chairman of the National Team Management Committee. He stepped down from the rank after a controversial attempt of BFF president to select Amirul Islam Babu the manager of the U-20 National team. Later on in 2008, 28 April, Kazi Md. Salahuddin elected as the president of Bangladesh Football Federation. After getting elected in BFF, he secured BDT 160,000,000 (equivalent to USD 2,285,714 appx) for three years from a multinational Mobile Operator Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (Citycell) for three years as Sponsorship Money for partnering Bangladesh Football Federation in running its competitions, which is a record in the History of Bangladesh Football. Again on 3 October 2009 in South Asian Football Federation Election Congress Dhaka 2009, Kazi Md Salahuddin elected was uncontested as President of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF). Kazi Md Salahuddin was also selected as the member of FIFA Technical & Development Committee (one of the standing committee of FIFA) from 3 December 2009.
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Kazi Salauddin according to many[according to whom?] is recognized as the first ever true sporting superstar of Bangladesh since his achieved both on and off the field is notable. He was the first ever player to play abroad and score many vital goals for both club and country. As a player, he was very talented and was a key member for success that his team had achieved. He is one of the players who scored for Bangladesh in the Asian cup in 1980, the first only appearance for the country in the Asian cup. As a president of the national team he is known for organizing the first ever professional league in Bangladesh the B-league. He organized the koti takar khela between Mohammedan and Abahani which was official and the first ever super cup tournament in Bangladesh in 2009. His most notable achievement was to bring the Argentina national football team along with superstar Lionel Messi in Bangladesh in 2011, to play a friendly against Nigeria. Though despite all the achievement he is widely criticized for recent downturn in Bangladesh football as the teams ranking has stooped to its lowest ever position 196.