'BNS should not host cricket'
Newly re-elected Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin said yesterday that the Bangabandhu National Stadium should not be considered as one of the possible venues for the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
“Officially, I know nothing about the BNS, but the organsiers should not think of cricket at the BNS, rather they should think of those venues which were made for cricket and hosting matches of the national cricket league and international matches,” Salahuddin told reporters at his office yesterday.
Salahuddin had initially refused to make any comments until he gets the official statement but he finally relented after repeated requests from the pressmen.
Vice-president elect Abdus Salam Murshedy also said that they were not officially informed about using the BNS for cricket and they would meet the Prime Minister to make her understand the importance of BNS for football.
The name of BNS came up as a possible venue for the Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 during a preparatory meeting at the Youth and Sports Ministry on Wednesday.
“The BNS is very important for football and hosting cricket at the same venue will halt the progress of football as we have no alternative venue like cricket and the venue we have in Kamalapur is more like a half stadium which is always not appropriate for football,” said Salahuddin who was re-elected BFF president two days ago.
Previously, the BNS had hosted the opening ceremony of the ICC World Cup in February 2011 and due to the renovation and preparation of the opening ceremony at the premium venue, football remained suspended for more than six months at the BNS. This led to the BFF subsequently cancelling the Super Cup following the unwillingness of the sponsor to host it at the Kamalapur Stadium.
The ICC World Twenty20 Cup is scheduled to be staged in Bangladesh from April 1 to 20 in 2014.
Apart from the issue of BNS, Kazi Salahuddin told reporters about his plan regarding district football after being re-elected for another four years.
“The district football league will start by August-September,” Salahuddin said. “However it will be a challenge for me and the BFF to start the league at the district level as well as manage sponsors.”
The BFF boss also informed that he would have to spend a lot of time in the next four weeks to ensure funding as acute financial crisis was the main setback for the football governing body.
Terming the just concluded election as a hard one, Salahuddin said that he had no knowledge of the conspiracy against Badal Roy.
Roy on Wednesday alleged that a group conspired against him during the elections in an effort to make him lose and thus he is likely to opt to be inactive in the newly formed executive committee.
“Every individual has his own opinion, thinking and style and I am not going to interfere in it,” said Salahuddin.
In another move, the start of the second leg of the Grameenphone Bangladesh League has been deferred by five days in the face of demand made by six clubs including Brothers Union as all those clubs are not ready to play at the moment following their participation in the BFF elections.
After a meeting with the club representatives, the league committee decided to resume the league from May 10 and extended the deadline of the mid-term players' transfer window till May 9 which was supposed to close yesterday.
The meeting also decided to ready the venue in Kamalapur as an alternative solution to the ongoing league and complete the fifth edition of the league by July 10.