Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Clubs reluctant for AFC license

Most of the clubs of the Bangladesh Premier League lost a rare opportunity to get the eligibility for the next year’s AFC Cup as they failed to complete club licensing formalities before the deadline. To get the eligibility in order to take part in the AFC Cup, each top clubs must fulfill 10 criteria to get the license. Reigning champions Abahani Limited, which fulfilled all the criteria before the deadline on August 22, was the only exception among 12 clubs to show the professionalism of completing the licensing formalities.
Even though Mohammedan Sporting Club and Saif Sporting Club are yet to submit their annual financial reports, Bangladesh Football Federation said they were trying to acquire more time from AFC to complete the formality for the both clubs.
However, the issue remained in doubt as AFC were yet to award the time for Mohammedan and Saif.
BFF claimed they requested all the clubs repeatedly to complete the formalities in time but they saw little interest among the clubs which means except Abahani Limited any other clubs would not be allowed to take part in the AFC Cup even if they become champions in the ongoing BPL.
After the seventh round of the league, Chittagong Abahani and Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club shared the top spot of the points table but most surprisingly, both the sides somehow overlooked the deadline of AFC.
Chittagong Abahani team leader Shakil Mahmud Chowdhury said due to lack of communication with the BFF, they lost the opportunity.
‘It was a great loss for us because every club wants to represent its country in the international level,’ Chowdhury told New Age.
‘But I think both BFF and our club [Chittagong Abahani] left equally responsible for not communicating each other in time.’
Sheikh Jamal also ignored the mandatory demand of AFC to get eligibility for the AFC Cup.
‘Actually we didn’t form our squad targeting the trophy but our players showed the character to keep in the title race,’ Jamal football manager Anowarul Karim Helal said.
‘That might influence our mindset before submitting all relevant papers.
‘However, it would be painful for us if we wouldn’t allow for AFC Cup only for the license if we would even become champions.’
Abahani, who took part in the last edition of AFC Cup this year, made no mistake to fulfil the criteria in time.
Abahani manager Sattyajit Das Rupu said they took the matter seriously when BFF asked them to submit relevant documents.
‘As a fan-based club, we have an ultimate goal of participating in the AFC Cup which is why we fulfilled the criteria before the deadline,’ said Rupu.
‘Last year we were allowed to take part in the AFC Cup after claiming the Federation Cup title and this time we retained the success that also forced us to take necessary step to get AFC’s license.’
BFF said AFC usually asks names of four top teams of the league and current Federation Cup champions before determining the eligible side for the AFC Cup.

-With New Age input

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