The Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) once again compromised discipline by lifting suspensions on four club officials conditionally citing the old-fashioned statement of 'greater interest of hockey'.
The decision was made by the BHF executive committee yesterday. It decided to lift bans on Mohammedan SC manager Ariful Haque Prince and assistant manager Asaduzzaman Chandan and Dhaka Mariner Youngs Club general secretary Ahsan Ullah Khan and manager Nazrul Islam Mridha.
All four officials and one judge had been handed suspensions ranging from three to five years in late November, six months after Mohammedan and Mariner Youngs were involved in a scuffle centering the June 7 match in 2018. However, the officials have not really missed out as the domestic league has not been held since.
"On the condition of participating in the Premier Hockey League, the suspension on four officials of Mohammedan and Mariner Youngs have been lifted. They applied to withdraw their suspension," said BHF acting general secretary Mohammad Yousuf at a post-meeting briefing at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium.
It is not the first time that the BHF failed to stick to its decision as Prince and Chandan, along with four players, had before been suspended for five years for physically assaulting Pakistani coach Naveed Alam in July 2013. That suspension was lifted in November 2015 ahead of the Premier Hockey League.
The BHF also imposed five-year bans on four national players -- Rassel Mahmud Jimmy, Zahid Hossain, Imran Hasan Pintoo and Kamruzzaman Rana -- for displaying 'deliberately poor performance' in the Asian Cup, but lifted the bans citing the common phrase 'greater interest of hockey.'
There are many such instances when the BHF has lifted bans ahead of schedule.
"A suspension is imposed for a certain period, not for a lifetime. We have made this deviation this time because of the greater interest of hockey as well as to hold everything tight. You won't see it in future because we have been following discipline strictly in all the tournaments we have arranged in the past two years," said BHF president and Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat.
With the lifting of the suspensions of four officials, the BHF is now seeing the way to hold the Premier Hockey League in December, some two-and-half-years after the last edition concluded in June, 2018.
However, the issue of Usha KC has still hanged in balance as the BHF president wants to see details of legal and constitutional aspects for promoting Usha to the Premier Hockey League after the Old Dhaka outfit were relegated to the First Division after failing to take part in the Premier League in 2018.