With the aim of reviving district football, the Under-18 National Football Championship will get underway from Thursday at eight separate venues with the participation of 63 district teams and Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP).
The participating teams, split into eight zones with eight teams in each zone, will play round-robin matches with the zonal champions advancing to the eight-team final round to be held from the third week of this month.
“The Under-18 National Football Championship is an event of our four-year calendar and we are all set to hold it with the hope of revitalising football at the district-level, the area which most footballers come out of,” Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) senior vice president Abdus Salam Murshedy said at a press conference yesterday.
The tournament was supposed to get underway in the later part of January but it was shifted to March to accommodate the training programme for the districts footballers. The BFF development committee conducted five to six days training with each of the district teams and selected 30 players for each team.
“Our coaches have travelled to each of the districts to train players and have selected 30 players for each district, which will finally pick 20 players,” BFF vice president Badal Roy said. “We will also select 35-40 players from this tournament to form the Under-19 team for next year's AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers.”
Tournament committee chairman Mohiuddin Ahmed Modi, general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag and member Fazlur Rahman Babul were among others present on the occasion.