The Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) has allegedly turned into a medium for obtaining visas to Europe and the United States as the game's governing body is running without the guardian for the last sixmonths.
Former commerce minister GM Quader had been inactive at the helm of BCF since the general elections and later stepped down, which allowed BCF officials to obtain as many government orders (GOs) as they needed to travel abroad with the national chess teams. Many took advantage ofthe situation by procuring GOs for officials and their relatives, and at times little-known chess players.
This time Bangladesh men's and women's teams, each comprising five players, will be taking part in the 41st Chess Olympiad in Norway from August 1 with an unprecedented party of 15 officials and their relatives for the 15-day tour. The number of officials should be six -- two team managers, the head of the delegation, two delegates of FIDE congress and the international arbiter.
But, the BCF have approved six members from the executive committee, the wife and son of acting president Shahabuddin Shamim -- who is also head of the delegation -- and one sponsor named Moniruzzaman Palash.
“We always take a cup of tea at the federation at our own cost and elected officials have the right to travel with the team at their own cost,” said BCF general secretary Gazi Shayiful Tarek at a pressconference yesterday.
“The BCF members travel with the team to gather experience and whatdevelopment you have seen in the federation is outcome of thatgathered experience,” said Tarek, who promised to hold GM and IM tournaments every year in his election manifesto but is yet to stage a single IM or GM tournament over the last two years.
Meanwhile, the BCF sought GOs for its 23 -- excluding GM Ziaur Rahman and IM Shamima Akhter Liza who, playing in separate tournaments overseas, will join the team in Norway -- members for the Olympiad but the youth and sports ministry approved only 13 applications and asked the BCF to provide detailed information of the remaining officials immediately.