History of Bangladeshi Football in the UK:
- The Bangladeshi community started to arrive in the UK during the 1960’s. Initially the community consisted of single men.
- The 70’s saw the formation of small Bangladeshi communities throughout the UK. In London, like many other immigrant communities the East End became their home. However, there were very few sporting opportunities.
- The 80’s saw the influx of Bangladeshi families. This resulted in a large Bangladeshi youth population and organizations were formed to cater for the needs of those young people. Through this, football teams began to be established.
- The 90’s saw the development of these teams as they ventured into Sunday League football.
- The Asian League offered an opportunity for these teams to compete against each other.
- This resulted in an expansion of the number of teams in the community.
History of Sporting Bengal United FC:
- It all began with a football tour to Bangladesh in 1996 by a group of the most talented Bangladeshi players in London.
- There was realisation that talent was being wasted with the divisions that existed and that nothing had been achieved by individual teams.
- It was agreed that a selective team, consisting of all the best players in the community would form Sporting Bengal FC.
- The formation of Sporting Bengal required the need for co-ordination.
Bangladesh Football Association (UK):
It was further decided that a regulating body should be set up to co-ordinate the future of football within the East London community. This regulating body came in the shape of the Bangladesh Football Association (BFA), also established in 1996. Since then, the BFA has been increasing its activities and developing initiatives at a tremendous pace.
There are currently 40 teams who are members of BFA. The current committee consists of 11 members, each of whom represents a different member club. We feel that this method provides good representation and ensures that the interests of the community are at the forefront of decision making. Although we have adopted the name Bangladesh Football Association, we encourage all members of the community to actively partake in our provisions.
Working together with various partners, funders and sponsors, the BFA want to bring together the local community through sporting activities, primarily football. We are keen on taking a holistic approach so that an individual in our community, regardless of their age, gender, ethnic background or locality can feel part of the bigger sporting family through self-empowerment.