Clubs decline transfer | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 13, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 13, 2008

Clubs decline transfer

Cloud over Swadhinata Cup

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An April start for the second B. League looks uncertain after the clubs opposed the idea of going into the transfers from next Saturday.
Although the eight professional league clubs of Dhaka had agreed to go into the transfer from March 15 and start the league from early April in a previous meeting with the league committee, they conveyed their wish not to take part in the transfer before the election of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).
In a joint statement submitted to BFF president SA Sultan yesterday, the clubs termed the hurriedly drawn BFF calendar for 2008 as 'confusing'.
The statement was signed by top brass of Abahani, Mohammedan, Muktijoddha, Sheikh Russel, Brothers Union, Arambagh, Farashganj and Rahmatganj.
They also showed their reluctance to participate in the Swadhinata Cup billed to start from March 20.
Out of the eight big names, three teams were scheduled to play in the Swadhinata Cup but the tournament's draw was postponed last night following the absence of the team representatives.
The one valid reason the statement showed is 'it is difficult to take part in the transfer and play in a tournament simultaneously'.
"We are interested to take part in the Swadhinata Cup but due to transfers, it would be difficult to get players. The BFF had not taken any steps to organise this tournament in the last few years. Also, we expected a gorgeous tournament to mark the Independence of the country. Its better that this tournament be held after the transfer," the statement read.
The clubs also felt that the 'controversial' calendar should be revised by the future executive committee.
It added that the calendar by a new committee would be more acceptable and there would be assurance of implementing it.
"This is the reason we are appealing to schedule the transfer after the election."
BFF acting general secretary Manzoor Hossain Malu, who was aware of a letter to the president but did not read its contents, said as an invitational tournament, any team could include guest players for the Swadhinata Cup.
"The transfer should not be a problem," he added.
Apart from the problems uttered in the statement, it seems that the clubs' unwillingness was sparked by top players' national duty for the AFC Challenge Cup and the SAFF Championship in May and June, when they would not get the footballers at their disposal.
"It would be difficult to play in that time. So its realistic that the leagues start after that," said a club official.
The decision, however, is likely to irk the footballers whose interests have not been protected by federation and club now and again.
The federation, in fact, had announced the calendar out of the blue only after the players had threatened to go into demonstration in demand of starting the football season.
When the BFF election will take place on April 28, it would be nine months of 'football-less-ness' for players, the time one needs to give birth to a child.
When a new committee takes a decision, it could well take one full year to roll football to the ground. Can the footballers afford that?

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