'CMG offers lucrative'
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin said he is 'in principle' willing to accept Celebrity Management Group's (CMG's) proposal to award the company the rights to arrange FIFA friendly fixtures for the Bangladesh national team, but expressed his scepticism over the feasibility of the proposed franchise football league.
Talking to The Daily Star at the BFF Bhaban yesterday, the BFF boss said he would form a committee to analyse the pros and cons of the proposals before taking a decision on either issue.
"We only got the proposals. I will form a committee to do the research on the proposals," said Salahuddin. "I think I will give permission over the proposal on arranging FIFA friendlies, provided they [CMG] give us the details which teams our team will play against and on which dates."
However, on the main proposal of CMG, the Kolkata-based sports management company which helped BFF host the friendly match between Argentina and Nigeria in September 2011 in Dhaka, the BFF boss expressed his scepticism while not ruling out the possibility completely.
"I am not saying no to the proposal, but I'm not very confident that this style of tournament can help football. With the cost that this type of league will involve, it's not very feasible to be run here. It's feasible in India because they have sponsors spending millions as it is more of a showmanship of actors and sportspeople."
"My knowledge of world football over the last 45 years tells me that this [franchise football league] is not my cup of tea; neither is it English or German or Italian. I want football itself to promote the game rather than any entertainment side-shows to try to promote it. I want football to be developed here the European way," added Salahuddin.
The BFF boss also quelled any suspicion over the sixth participant in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup, which is supposed to be held between January 16 and 27. While keeping cards as close to his chest as possible, he said he wanted to make it a memorable and grand event.
"We have a few options in our hands regarding the sixth nation as you know Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Bahrain have already confirmed their participation," said Salahuddin.
"The logo unveiling will be done in a grand manner either on 12th or 13th of January and that is when all the details of the tournament will be revealed.
"We may even defer the tournament by a week or so because of the Asian Cup [January 9-31] so as to make sure that the tournament gets maximum attention and more international viewership. The tournament will be a memorable one," wished the BFF boss.