Sense of déjà vu grips football

The commitment and professionalism of national footballers were called into question once again after five of them recently joined an inter-service match without permission from their coach.
Bangladesh Football Federation released Mamunul Islam, Rayhan Hasan, Sohel Rana, Jewel Rana, Shahidul Alam Sohel to play for Bangladesh Navy, raising doubts about its own commitment towards the game.
The quintet is among nine players who joined Navy last year in clear breach of rules as they are under professional contract with different clubs.
The BFF’s professional football league committee issued a circular in July stating that any player registered with a top tier professional club must not play a match without his club’s consent.
However, the players flouted the rules and the games governing body also violated its own policy by allowing five national players to play the match for Bangladesh Navy.
The incident happened less than two weeks before a crucial Asian Cup qualifier match against Bhutan on September 6.
Bangladesh will remain isolated in international football for years if they fail to overcome the hurdle as this is last remaining opportunity for them to join the Asian Cup qualifiers.
BFF vice-president Badal Roy was left flabbergasted by the development as he said he is in dark about who gave the permission to play by overlooking coach’s wish.
‘When we give the main importance to the upcoming Bhutan matches and hired a high profile coach to get a positive result, it was really shocking for us to see some players leaving the camp to play an unscheduled game and that too with the permission from officials,’ he said.
‘I think we have to take the matter very seriously and find out how they got the permission.’
Two Abahani Limited players – Jewel Rana and Shahidul Alam Sohel — didn’t ask their club for permission before playing the game, confirmed club manager Sattyajit Dus Rupu.
‘Before the season started BFF’s professional league committee told us not to allow any registered players to play in any unaffiliated matches,’ he said.
‘We released the players considering the national interest but BFF released them to play an unauthorised game without discussing us. This is unacceptable.
‘We will take necessary action against our two players after discussing with the high-ups.’
BFF executive committee member Illias Hossain, who was also a member of a fact finding committee formed by the BFF to probe the twin debacle in SAFF Championship and Bangabandhu Gold Cup, blasted the players for lack of professionalism.
‘The current players are fully unprofessional and they don’t have minimum commitment for his country and club,’ he said.
‘They are only thinking about money, nothing else.
‘We found some serious allegation against few players, who were part of the national team during the SAFF Bangabandhu Gold Cup and recommended BFF to impose life ban against them.
‘BFF, however, handed them light punishment. Moreover they offered them a space by allowing them to return to the team with a mere apology,’ he said.
Former national captain Jewel Rana blamed BFF for the entire episode.
‘When the highest body takes a casual approach towards these things they will continue to repeat,’ he said.
‘BFF always overlooked players’ fault which encourage them to get involved in one after another incident,’ he said.
‘Brazilian coach Dido [Edson Silva] once took strong stand against some undisciplined players during the national camp but BFF ignored coach’s decision which encouraged the other players to do same thing.’
‘Nowadays a professional earn lucrative wages from his respective club, which is sometime more than Tk five lakh per month. It’s a shame they yet prefer exploring a second option.’
BFF president Kazi Salahuddin, who returned from Sri Lanka on Friday after SAFF meeting, refused to make any comment.

-With New Age input

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