With the schedule of the 2020 polls of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yet to be announced, president aspirant Tarafder Ruhul Amin yesterday declared not to contest in April's polls in a bid to avoid an unhealthy situation.
Amin, secretary general of Bangladesh Divisional and District Football Association (BDDFA) and president of Bangladesh Club Association, disclosed his decision at his Mohakhali office in presence of BFF's incumbent vice-president Mohiuddin Ahmed Mohi, BDDFA vice-president Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir, former footballers Gaffar Chowdhury, Hasanuzzaman Khan Bablu and a couple of district and divisional football association officials.
"You all know I was the chief election coordinator of a panel [Kazi Salahuddin-led panel] during the 2016 BFF polls and that time the incumbent BFF president [Kazi Salahuddin] declared not to contest further in future. He had appealed to all councillors to elect him for the last time [third successive time] and 95 percent of candidates of our panel passed in the elections.
"BDDFA and Bangladesh Club Association nominated me for contesting in 2020 BFF polls as a president candidate as the incumbent president was not supposed to contest. I was going in that direction but I learnt that the incumbent president will be contesting in the BFF polls for the fourth term even though he had earlier declared not to do so," said Amin.
"As a result, we observed an unhealthy environment in football and I, after discussing the matter with others, decided to withdraw myself from running for the president post because we all want betterment of football and take football forward. I also want to stay away from the unhealthy environment regarding the polls," Amin said, explaining his decision.
Asked whether there was any pressure from any quarters to withdraw from the BFF polls, Amin said there was none. "I only withdrew myself from the BFF president candidacy temporarily, but I haven't left the election field. The officials of BDDFA and club association will contest in other BFF posts and we will try to give a fittest panel for the BFF polls," he added.
Since the 2016 elections, Amin invested a lot in football by providing financial assistance to district football associations to run district leagues and the Dhaka clubs to run their camps for different leagues. Amin also sponsored Bangladesh Premier League, First, Second and Third division leagues apart from holding a youth tournament across the country.
Incumbent president Kazi Salahuddin welcomed Amin's decision but denied his previous statement of not contesting in BFF polls.
"Anyone who is qualified can contest in BFF polls; there is no barrier to that. I want to thank him for keeping faith on me," Salahuddin told reporters. "I said before that I might or might not contest again and I am still telling the same."