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Thick on domestic, thin on international
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday revealed the calendar of 2012-13 season which promises an action-paced nine months of domestic football, but very little international engagement.
The season will kick off with Federation Cup Qualifiers at the end of August and will cap off the big-budgeted tournament of Super Cup by the middle of May, 2013.
The Tk one-crore tournament, which generated huge enthusiasm among the football fans when introduced in 2009, has been held only once since, that in the 2010-2011 season, and despite verbal assurance from the football's governing body, it was not held in the just-concluded season.
This is the second time in five years that the BFF officially disclosed its calendar, and they hope of sticking to it this time, though the first one they provided in 2009 was hardly kept up with.
Apart from the Super Cup, the calendar includes regular leagues like Bangladesh Premier League, Bangladesh Championship League, Dhaka Metropolis First, Second, Third and Pioneer Leagues and tournaments like Federation Cup, Independence Cup, and the Club Cup Championship for the district clubs while the National Football Championship for the teams from districts, universities and services teams has been omitted.
The BFF is also going to rename the Federation Cup qualifiers as the Federation Shield where clubs from second tier professional league, services, universities and districts will be eligible to take part.
The players' transfer window for the Bangladesh Premier League will open on August 16 as the sixth edition of the professional football league will get underway from November 15 after the completion of Federation Cup (Sept 24 to October 20).
“The season will kick off with the Federation Shield which will start from August 30,” said BFF's senior vice president and league committee chairman Abdus Salam Murshedy at a press conference yesterday.
Holding the district football league is one of four major promises of the Bangladesh Football Federation and it was reiterated as Club Cup Championship is scheduled to take place for the district clubs.
“We could not give much attention on the district football in the last four years but this time it will get the highest priority. Three sponsors are almost confirmed for district football leagues and an age-level tournament,” said Murshedy adding that the champions club of each district would take part in the Club Cup Championship.
While the local football scene is expected to remain busy throughout nine months, footballers will have very little engagement at the international level. In the last four years, the football's governing body could not hold a single international tournament, apart from the SAFF Championship, and this time too they could not give any definite promise of holding any tournament of their own accord, although they said they are working on it.
“Holding international tournament is in our mind and hope to organise a high-standard international tournament on home soil this time,” said Murshedy.
Bangladesh will however take part in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in March next year while the U-18 team will travel to Russia to take part in a tournament there.
During the press conference, the professional football league chairman, Murshedy, faced a lot of questions over the ongoing investigation on the alleged fixed match between Brothers Union and Rahmatganj MFS and promised to make the report public within two weeks.
MAIN EVENTS OF BFF CALENDAR
Players' Transfer: Aug 16- Sep30, 2012
Federation Cup finals: Sep 24, 2012 Oct 20, 2012
Bangladesh Premier League: Nov 5, 2012 Feb 28 2013
Bangladesh Championship League: Nov 10, 2012 Feb 25, 2013
Independence Cup: March, 2013
Super Cup: Mid April Mid May, 2013
Club Cup Championship: Nov 10, 2012 Feb 25, 2013
AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers: March 2-17, 2013
[ Sports ] 2012-07-12