The staging of the Super Cup, domestic football's season-ending tournament, seemingly hangs in the balance following the decision to allow enough preparation time for the national team ahead of September's Asian Games in South Korea.
The emergency meeting of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) executive committee yesterday decided to stage the lucrative Super Cup but could not confirm the starting date of the fourth edition the tournament, which garnered a lot of attention from football fans in its first edition in 2009.
The Super Cup is supposed to take place soon after the completion of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League which will end on July 26 but the football governing body is thinking to hold it sometime in October as the national football team will go through a month-long preparation in August before taking part in the football event of the Asian Games starting in September 12, seven days before the opening ceremony of the Asian Games.
“Although we have little time in hand, we want to complete our yearly calendar. The national team will be busy in preparation in August and take part in the Asian Games in September. The Bangabandhu Gold Cup is also scheduled to take place in October and we are also thinking of holding the Super Cup in October after changing the schedule a little bit,” said BFF senior vice president Abdus Salam Murshedy after the meeting.
Murshedy hinted that if the BFF holds both tournaments in October, the players' transfer window for the next season might be deferred but the season is likely to start in late November like the previous season.
Though Bangladesh Dutch coaches Lodewijk De Kruif and Rene Koster have been on a prolonged vacation back in the Netherlands because of unpaid wages, the football federation has already sent the names of the 30-member preliminary squad to the Asian Games Committee.
“We have made the preliminary list with the consent of foreign and local coaches,” said BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag, adding that they have already cleared some unpaid wages to Kruif and Rene.
Kruif and Rene are expected to arrive in Bangladesh by August 5 to start the residential camp of the national team which had a miserable campaign in the SAFF Championship to finish seventh out of eight participating teams.
Recently, assistant coach Rene Koster spent some time in Bangladesh to watch the professional football league and requested the BFF to bring two changes in the preliminary squad -- striker Mithun Chowdhury and winger Yousuf Sifat to be brought in place of defender Atiqur Rahman Meshu and midfielder Toklish Ahmed -- but the BFF asked Rene to make changes based on position and not individuals.