The Bangladesh Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) apparently employed double standards for different clubs of top-flight leagues as it yesterday approved 14 clubs for the upcoming Bangladesh Championship League (BCL), keeping last season’s relegated side, Swadhinata Krira Sangha, in the league.
Last season, Swadhinata KS and Feni SC were relegated from the second-tier semi-professional football league, but an emergency meeting of the BFF yesterday approved Swadhinata’s appeal to play the league again.
Curiously, the BFF had last year rejected appeals from most of the Bangladesh Premier League clubs to relegate just one team from the professional football league, thereby giving NoFeL SC the opportunity to stay in the league. The BFF had also rejected the appeal from relegated Dhaka United FC to stay in the BCL two years.
So, when the same body yesterday took the opposite decision just months ahead of April’s BFF polls, it raised eyebrows.
The game’s local governing body also approved two new sides -- Uttara Football Academy, who played in this year’s Pioneer Football League, and Fortis Football Academy, who have no experience of playing any leages at any level.
The BFF reasoned that they would accommodate Fortis-BFF Football Academy players in the BCL to give exposure to budding players.
“The emergency meeting of BFF gave approval to a 14-team BCL as all 14 teams met the criteria of club licensing we set for them,” BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem told the reporters after the meeting.
“There is a recommendation from the Dhaka Football League Committee for a club [Swadhinata KS]. Although there is no relation between Fortis FA Ltd and Fortis-BFF FA, the players of Fortis-BFF Academy players will play for Fortis FA Ltd,” Shohag said.
The BFF spokesman also said that because they were helping to groom young players, they were being given a privilege other clubs cannot enjoy.
The players’ transfers of the clubs will start from February 10 before ending on March 20 while the league will get underway from March 27.