Eager to stage the Premier Division Hockey League after a two-year hiatus, the Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) received applications from two clubs to lift suspensions on their respective officials so they can participate.
"We have recently received letters from Dhaka Mariner Young's Club and Mohammedan SC, although both of them had previously applied to withdraw suspensions of their officials in 2019. But we could not discuss it at the meeting," said acting BHF general secretary Mohammad Yousuf. "Mariner wanted to know the decision regarding their previous letter while Mohammedan again requested lifting the suspension on their officials. We will discuss the matter in the next executive committee, which may take place in the first week of October."
The BHF imposed a suspension on Mohammedan manager Ariful Haque Prince and assistant manager Asaduzzaman Chandan and banned Mariner Young's general secretary Hasanullah Khan Rana and manager Nazrul Islam for breaching the code of conduct during a decisive league match on June 7, 2018. All four officials and one judge were handed suspensions between three and five years in November that year, but have not really missed out on much as no league has been held since.
Of the 12 Premier Hockey League sides, seven clubs sent representatives to the league committee meeting. Dilkusha SC, Victoria SC and Ajax SC were yet to send the names of their representatives while Mohammedan and Mariner were waiting for feedback from the executive committee.
Handing and lifting punishments is common practice in the BHF, which has previously lifted punishments on officials "for the greater interest of hockey".
In July, 2013, the BHF suspended five players and officials, including Prince and Chandan, for terms ranging from three years to life in the wake of the assault on Pakistan national team coach Naveed Alam. Four players, including Rasel Mahmud Jimmy, were also handed suspensions for different terms due to deliberately putting up poor performances in the 2014 Asia Cup. All suspensions were later lifted.
"Previous punishment will also come be a factor and we will see how to make it tolerable. We want all clubs to take part in the league as all rules and regulations are formed for the smooth running of the game," said Yousuf, adding that they were ready to start the league.