Bangabandhu National Stadium

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Bangabandhu National Stadium
Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh.jpg
Aerial view of the stadium
Former namesDacca Stadium
Coordinates23°43′40.2″N 90°24′48.4″E / 23.727833°N 90.413444°E / 23.727833; 90.413444Coordinates: 23°43′40.2″N 90°24′48.4″E / 23.727833°N 90.413444°E / 23.727833; 90.413444
OwnerNational Sports Council
OperatorNational Sports Council
Bangladesh Football Federation
Field size105 × 68 metres
SurfaceDesso GrassMaster
Opened1954; 68 years ago (1954)
Renovated1978, 2011, 2021–2022
Construction cost96 crore (US$10 million)
(2021 renovation)
Bangladesh national football team
Bangladesh women's national football team

Bangabandhu National Stadium (Bengali: বঙ্গবন্ধু জাতীয় স্টেডিয়াম), also known as Dhaka Stadium, and formerly known as Dacca Stadium, is the national stadium and a multipurpose sports arena in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is located in the Motijheel area in the heart of the city. Since 2005 it is predominantly used for football matches and is the home of the Bangladesh national football team and Bangladesh women's national football team. The Bangabandhu National Stadium is one of the main football venues in Dhaka, together with the 25,000 capacity Bir Shreshtha Mustafa Kamal Stadium. The Bangabandhu Stadium, is well known for hosting an international friendly between Argentina and Nigeria in 2011.[1]

The stadium has been renovated several times, most recently for the opening ceremony of the 2011 Cricket World Cup. It had a capacity close to 55,000 before the most recent renovation, but with a new capacity of 36,000 it is still the largest stadium in Bangladesh. Its current name was given to honour Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation, also known as "Bangabandhu" or "Friend of Bengal".


Early history[edit]

The Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka is the only venue in the world to have hosted an inaugural home fixture for two Test nations: Pakistan and Bangladesh.[5] India were the visitors on both occasions: in 1954–55, when Dacca was the capital of East Pakistan, and in 1976–77, when the first unofficial Test match was held between Bangladesh against the touring MCC from England. And the following year the Sri Lankan national team visited Bangladesh to play a few one-day, two-day and three-day unofficial matches against BCCB XI and Bangladesh National team. After that teams like Deccan Blues from India and MCC toured Bangladesh several times to play against BCCB XI and Bangladesh national team respectively.

Alongside cricket, the stadium was also known to host the historic Dhaka League, which was the country's premier football league even before independence of Bangladesh. In the 80s when football's popularity was skyrocketing, the Dhaka Derby attracted thousands of fans into the stadium from all over the country.[2] The stadium was also used to host the now defunct Aga Khan Gold Cup, which by many is considered to be first organized international competition that involved club teams around Asia.[3]

The 1978 AFC Youth Championship was the first major international tournament the stadium hosted. The stadium was also renovated for the occasion, the East Gallery was constructed and a women's gallery was arranged for the first time. The VIP gallery was also redecorated, as this was the first international football related tournament being held in Bangladesh. A total of forty games were played in the newly renovated stadium during the tournament held in October.[4]

The stadium has a history of hosting number of historic sports event starting from cricket, football, hockey to boxing. In February 1978, boxer Muhammad Ali fought an exhibition boxing match at the stadium, the then Dacca Stadium,[5] with a 12-year-old Bengali boy.[6]

Home of Bangladesh football[edit]

With a purpose-built cricket stadium being constructed on the outskirts of the city, the ground was taken out of commission at the end of the 2004–05 season, and handed over for the sole use of the Bangladesh national football team. Other than being used for the 2011 Cricket World Cup opening ceremony, the stadium has been mainly used for football purposes since the turn of the decade.

The stadium has hosted the SAFF Championship three times to date. First during the 2003 edition when Bangladesh lifted the trophy for the first time in history, in front of 46,000 local supporters. Since then the 2009 and most recently the 2018 editions of the tournament have all taken place at the stadium. Ever since the inception of the Bangladesh Premier League, in 2007, the stadium has been used has been used to host majority of the league seasons.

Ariel view of Bangabandhu National Stadium

On 6 September 2011, Bangabandhu National Stadium hosted an international friendly football match between the full-strength Argentina and Nigeria teams, featuring Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero, Javier Mascherano and Mikel John Obi among the other star players of both nations. Argentina won 3–1 with goals from then-Real Madrid teammates Gonzalo Higuaín and Ángel Di María, and an own goal from Nigeria's Elderson Echiéjilé with Chinedu Obasi scoring Nigeria's lone goal. Bangladeshi referee Tayeb Shamsuzzaman officiated the game, which drew 25,000 spectators despite ticket prices starting at US$100.[7][8]

On 13 November 2020, the stadium hosted the first of two matches between Bangladesh and Nepal during the Mujib Borsho Fifa International Football Series, arranged by the Bangladesh Football Federation. Bangladesh won the first game of the series 2–0, while the second game which was held four days later, finished goalless which lead the hosts to clinch the series on aggregate. The friendlies helped football return to Bangabandhu National Stadium and the country after a long absence due to the rise of COVID-19 cases worldwide.[9][10]

From September 2021, the stadium went under a year-long renovation process, which has been scheduled to end in early 2023, as Bangladesh Football Federation have planned to organize future football related events on the ground, and transform it into a modernized football venue.[11]

Mordern use[edit]

The stadium during 2018 SAFF Championship

Currently, the stadium is used by the Bangladesh national football team and Bangladesh women's national football team and also for athletics. The stadium is also used to host the Bangladesh Football Premier League and Bangladesh Championship League games.[12][13] The total seating capacity is about 36,000.

The stadium is located next to National Hockey Stadium. The stadium was used for competitions of the 2010 South Asian Games, including football and athletics.

Tournament results[edit]

2018 SAFF Championship[edit]

Date Competition Team Result Team Attendance
15 September 2018 Finals  Maldives 2–0  India N/A
12 September 2018 Semi-finals  India 3–1  Pakistan N/A
12 September 2018 Semi-finals    Nepal 0–3  Maldives N/A
9 September 2018 Group B  India 2–0  Maldives N/A
8 September 2018 Group A  Bangladesh 0–2    Nepal N/A
8 September 2018 Group A  Pakistan 3–0  Bhutan N/A
7 September 2018 Group B  Maldives 0–0  Sri Lanka N/A
6 September 2018 Group A  Bangladesh 1–0  Pakistan N/A
6 September 2018 Group A    Nepal 4–0  Bhutan N/A
5 September 2018 Group B  India 2–0  Sri Lanka N/A
4 September 2018 Group A  Bangladesh 2–0  Bhutan N/A
4 September 2018 Group A    Nepal 1–2  Pakistan N/A

2009 SAFF Championship[edit]

Date Competition Team Res Team Attendance
13 December 2009 Finals  Maldives 0(1)–0(3) (a.e.t)  India U23 N/A
11 December 2009 Semi-finals  Bangladesh 0–1  India U23 N/A
11 December 2009 Semi-finals  Maldives 5–1    Nepal N/A
9 December 2009 Group A  Maldives 0–3  India U23 N/A
9 December 2009 Group A  Afghanistan 0–3    Nepal N/A
8 December 2009 Group B  Pakistan 7–0  Bhutan N/A
7 December 2009 Group A  India U23 1–0    Nepal N/A
7 December 2009 Group B  Maldives 0–0    Nepal N/A
7 December 2009 Group A  Maldives 3–1  Afghanistan N/A
6 December 2009 Group B  Bangladesh 0–0  Pakistan N/A
6 December 2009 Group B  Sri Lanka 6–0  Bhutan N/A
5 December 2009 Group A  India U23 1–0  Afghanistan N/A
5 December 2009 Group A    Nepal 1–1  Maldives N/A
4 December 2009 Group B  Bangladesh 4–1  Bhutan N/A
4 December 2009 Group B  Sri Lanka 1–0  Pakistan N/A

2003 SAFF Gold Cup[edit]

Date Competition Team Res Team Attendance
20 January 2003 Finals  Bangladesh 1(5)–1(3) (a.e.t.)  Maldives 46,000
20 January 2003 Third Place Match  India 2–1 (a.s.d.e.t.)  Pakistan N/A
18 January 2003 Semi-finals  Bangladesh 2–1 (a.s.d.e.t.)  India N/A
18 January 2003 Semi-finals  Maldives 2–1  Pakistan N/A
15 January 2003 Group B  Bangladesh 3–0  Bhutan 15,000
15 January 2003 Group B    Nepal 2–3  Maldives 15,000
14 January 2003 Group A  India 1–1  Sri Lanka N/A
14 January 2003 Group A  Pakistan 1–0  Afghanistan N/A
13 January 2003 Group B  Bangladesh 1–0  Maldives 20,000
13 January 2003 Group B    Nepal 2–0  Bhutan N/A
12 January 2003 Group A  India 4–0  Afghanistan N/A
12 January 2003 Group A  Pakistan 6–0  Sri Lanka N/A
11 January 2003 Group B  Bangladesh 1–0    Nepal 55,000
11 January 2003 Group B  Maldives 6–0  Bhutan 25,000
10 January 2003 Group A  Sri Lanka 1–0  Afghanistan N/A
10 January 2003 Group A  India 0–1  Pakistan N/A

Cricket stats and records[edit]

The venue hosted its last international cricket match on 1 March 2005. After 2005, hosting of International Cricket status was shifted to Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, which was situated in Mirpur, Dhaka.

Till 2005 the venue has hosted

Renovation: 2021 Restructuring into a modern football stadium[edit]

Field development, construction of sheds in galleries, installation of chairs in galleries, modernization of toilets for international and local players, installation of floodlights, installation of CCTV cameras, installation of generators, installation of LED giant screens, installation of new athletic tracks, installation of digital advertising boards, creation of media centers, ticket counters, Dope Test Room Building, Medical Room, VIP Box Construction, President Box, Toilet development, medical equipment, sub-station equipment, AC and solar panel supply will be the works involved in the renovation of the stadium.[14]

Renovation : 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, Opening Ceremony[edit]

Bangabandhu National Stadium hosted the opening ceremony of the 2011 Cricket World Cup co-hosted by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India on 17 February 2011. The stadium was exclusively modernised and renovated into a world class stadium to host the opening ceremony. The capacity of the stadium had been decreased to 36,000, a large LED screen had been installed, a modern roof had also been attached over the press box. The entrances and VIP box have also been upgraded to host the grand gala inaugural ceremony. The press box, along with a refreshment stand and the VIP box have been revamped. The stadium now has state of the art facilities suitable for international sporting events.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Argentina beat Nigeria 3–1 to avenge June's defeat BBC
  2. ^ sun, daily. "Dhaka Football League: Days of Glory | Daily Sun |". daily sun.
  3. ^ "Football before the birth of Bangladesh". Dhaka Tribune. 4 March 2018.
  4. ^ "ঢাকার মাঠে সবচেয়ে বড় ফুটবল উৎসব". উৎপল শুভ্র :: Utp al Shuvro.
  5. ^ "Ali will have new battle plan". The Eagle. Bryan-College Station, TX. Associated Press. 17 February 1978. p. 15. Retrieved 27 November 2015 – via open access
  6. ^ "The Boy Who 'knocked Out' Ali". 20 February 2015.
  8. ^ Messi inspires Argentina to win over Nigeria Archived 18 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine NDTV
  9. ^ "Bangladesh-Nepal friendlies to be styled 'Mujib Borsho Fifa International Football Series'". 8 November 2020.
  10. ^ "FIFA Int'l Series: Bangladesh win two-match series".
  11. ^ "প্রিমিয়ার লিগ শেষে বঙ্গবন্ধু স্টেডিয়ামের সংস্কার কাজ শুরু".
  12. ^ "FIFA Int'l Series: Bangladesh to play Nepal in series decider on Tuesday". Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Football League starts on February 3". New Age | The Most Popular Outspoken English Daily in Bangladesh.
  14. ^ "Bangabandhu National Stadium to be decorated at a cost of Tk 96 cr – The Daily Industry".

External links[edit]