Saturday, April 20, 2024

Hockey crisis resolved, finally

The long-lasting crisis of local hockey was finally resolved on Friday after Khwaja Rahmatullah resigned from the position of Bangladesh Hockey Federation general secretary.
Abdus Sadek, the veteran vice-president of BHF, was given the charge of general secretary during an emergency meeting of the federation’s governing body while Rahmatullah was made vice-president.
Rahmatullah took the position of Sabbir Yusuf, who died last year.
The BHF also announced that the inter-club players’ transfer for the next Dhaka Premier Hockey League will be held from December 13 to 15.
The resignation of Rahmatullah and the subsequent announcement of transfer date appeased all aggrieved parties, signaling the end of the crisis that began way back in 2013.
Four clubs, who included local hockey giants Mohammedan Sporting Club and Mariner Young’s Club, refrained from participating in any competitions under Rahmatullah.
As a result, the BHF could not organise any league since February 2014, which hit the players hard. With their backs firmly on the wall, players refused to join the national team camp for the forthcoming South Asian Games unless the crisis was resolved.
BHF president Air Marshal Abu Esrar, also the chief of air staff, looked to be a relived man after the crisis was solved.
‘I think that the decisions that we have taken here in the GB meeting nobody will oppose them,’ Esrar told reporters after the meeting. ‘I am sure that the decisions that we have taken, all clubs will agree with us and will come forward for the betterment of hockey.’
Both Mohammedan and Mariners have accepted the decisions.
Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan, director in-charge of Mohammedan, said that they have taken the decisions positively.
‘We appreciate the decisions. This is what we were demanding for the last two years,’ Lokman told New Age.
‘We will now accept any decision that will be made by the federation. Also, we will participate in the players’ transfer.’
Hasanullah Khan Rana, the general secretary of Mariner Young’s Club, echoed the same words and also thanked prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan for resolving the crisis.
Upon instructed by the prime minister, Nazmul last week took an initiative and managed to convince Rahmatullah to relinquish his position.
‘I like to thank honourable prime minister for her concern over the matter,’ said Rana. I am also personally thankful to Papan Bhai [Nazmul Hasan] for his role in solving the problem.’
Rahmatullah, the outgoing secretary, said he accepted the decision for the sake of hockey.
‘I took the decision sportingly,’ Rahamtullah told reporters. ‘The big thing is that hockey is going to roll on. We have taken all the decisions for the greater interest of hockey.’
Rahmatullah said he worked sincerely during his two-year time as general secretary.
‘I did my job with utmost sincerity,’ he said. Now other people will judge if I was successful.’
The former national player denied that he was forced to resign.
‘There was no scope for forcing me to resign, because I didn’t do anything that would require me to resign.
‘There was no specific allegation against me. Some clubs boycotted all kind of hockey activities, but they could not specify the allegation against me,’ he said.
Players said they are now planning to join the national team camp as soon as possible.
‘As the federation accepted our demand, we don’t have any problem to join the camp now,’ said national team forward Moinul Islam Kowshik.
Newly appointed general secretary Sadek said his first initiative will be to make the teams ready for the AHF Under-21 Cup and the SA Games.
‘My first preference will be running the training camp properly,’ Sadek told New Age.
‘I requested all the players to join in the camp immediately because we have to take part in the AHF U-21 tournament in next month.
‘If we can finish among the top-four in this tournament, we have chance to qualify for the World Cup, which I think will be a great honour for us.’

-With New Age input

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