Kazi Salahuddin, gunning for a fourth consecutive term as president of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF), announced his manifesto Sunday ahead of the election which will take place on October 3.
Salahuddin’s Sammillita Parishad hosted an event on Sunday at a Dhaka hotel to reveal his manifesto and introduce his panel. Most of the members of the last panel of Salahuddin are still with him while many opted out as well.
Salahuddin, the brightest star of the country's football history, became the president of BFF for the first time back in 2008. He also won the election in 2012 and announced that he will do everything to qualify for the World Cup 2022. But halfway through qualification, this looks as unlikely as ever before. He had formed an initiative named “Vision 2022” which has only bitten the dust during the last eight years.
He is yet to face a strong challenger though, and this has hurt the country's football development. This time again, following some withdrawals and late surprises, the election is Salahuddin's to lose, despite an abundance of disappointment over the stalled progress of the game in Bangladesh.
Salahuddin said there was confusion about his Vision 2022. He claimed that he never said that he will work to make sure Bangladesh qualify for Qatar World Cup.
“I think there is confusion among you. I never said that we would qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. We said we would try to qualify. We always have to have a plan along the way,” Salahuddin told the media today.
“We are going to introduce a long-term and sustainable plan for Bangladesh football. If we get elected again, we will take specific actions to improve our position in the world ranking. We will try to become one of the best 150 teams in the world. And at the same time, we will put our best foot forward to make our women's team one of the best 90 teams in the ranking,” Salahuddin added.
When Salahuddin took charge in 2008, Bangladesh was at 180 in the world ranking while they are now at 187. He tried to justify this situation saying: “Look at France- they are the world champion but not at the top of the ranking. Fifa Friendly matches are very important. We had a financial crisis, and so we failed to play many matches.”
In the new manifesto, Salahuddin and his team repeated most of what they had said ahead of the last election. In the last election, there were 25 points in their manifesto. Now they have increased to 36 points.
Salahuddin’s manifesto said they are committing to host Bangabandhu Gold Cup every year and regain the title of SAFF Championship and SA Games. Along with these, they said they are committed to appointing high-profile coaching staff, creating a profile of the players, establishing a regular calendar for domestic events and forming by-laws for the domestic leagues. Salahuddin's panel also said they will arrange all the facilities at least in four venues to host international games.
One of the longest-serving BFF presidents, Salahuddin, claimed to have completed 'at least 75 percent' of their last manifesto’s commitments. “We are sorry that we failed to do the rest of the works. But we are saying now is prepared for three months. We have researched a lot. We cannot take our football forward alone. For this, the players, coaches, officials and sponsors all have to work together."
Ahead of the tour of Sri Lanka for three Tests, 16 cricketers started practice at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday instead of 27 as 10 cricketers are put in isolation with the suspicion of Covid-19.
A total of 27 cricketers were supposed to join the camp, but 16 cricketers were present on day one. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) says 10 cricketers are in isolation with the suspicion of Covid-19.
BCB has earlier manifested that the cricketers would undergo a total of four different Covid-19 tests before flying for the island nation. In the first test, Saif Hassan, the left-handed opener was the only cricketer who was found positive for Covid-19. He took another test last week and returned positive again.
Cricketers gave the sample for the second test on Friday and Saturday and all have been tested negative. But some of the players, BCB haven’t revealed their names, are showing symptoms despite being negative in the Covid-19 test.
As per the advice of the medical department, BCB decided to keep the cricketers, who came to the contact with who are showing symptoms, in isolation, and they will undergo another test on September 22.
"Out of the 27 cricketers for the Bangladesh team tested on 18 and 19 September 2020, two cases have been identified as ‘borderline negative’ with one of them showing classical Covid-19-like symptoms. As per the Covid-19 management guideline and to maintain Bio-Secure Environment standards, the symptomatic individual along with all the players who have been in close contact with him recently, have been isolated until the next test on 22 September," a BCB statement about the issue reads.
The cricketers who are in isolation tell September 22 are: Mohammad Mithun, Hasan Mahmud, Naeem Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Abu Jayed, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Shafiul Islam and Mohammad Saifuddin.
Meanwhile, BCB is still waiting for a positive response from the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) who are negotiating with the health department of the island nation so that they allow a shorter quarantine period for the Bangladesh cricket team.
As per the Sri Lankan government's regulation, everyone who enters the island nation is required to undergo a 14-day strict quarantine. But BCB has urged SLC to trim this period to seven days. But the Sri Lanka health department refused the idea which has fallen in jeopardy.
The SriLanka series was originally scheduled for July-August, but due to the Covid-19 situation, the series was rescheduled in October-November. Bangladesh have played three World Test Championship matches till the date and lost all of them.
Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) football champions Bashundhara Kings completed their quota of four foreign booters for the ensuing football season (2020-21), confirming the signing of Iranian defender Khaled Shafiei in Asian quota.
The Kings already confirmed a deal with the 33-year-old Iranian defender Shafiei, but his official signing with the club will be held after his arrival in Dhaka, likely in the first week of October as the club’s 4th and last foreign player for the coming season.
Shafiei, who played in the Persian League for Sepahan FC and FC Seoul in the South Korean K-League, will be the replacement of Kings Argentine defender Nicholas Delmonte.
Earlier, Bashundhara Kings, recruited three forwards--Brazilians Robson Azevedo da Silva, Jonathan da Silveria Fernandes Reis and Argentine Hernan Barcos--and brought the trio in the capital on Sept 10 to join training camp for AFC Cup as well as for the ensuing football season, but the cancellation of the AFC Cup on the same day dealt a blow to them.
The country’s new domestic football season is likely to begin with the Federation Cup Football in the first week of December after completing the necessary registration formalities in October-November next.
Most of the club representatives, which earlier agreed to play the ensuing season (2020-21) without any foreign footballer, finally changed their stance in the last meeting and opined for allowing maximum four foreign booters for a team including one from Asia and all the four foreign footballers will be entitled to play in a match for the team.
In the last season (2019-20), all the participating teams were entitled to recruit maximum five foreign players and four of them were allowed to play in a match.
Former national footballer KM Nowsheruzzaman, also a member of Swadhin Bangla Football team, is on life support at a city hospital with Corona Virus (Covid-19)
He was admitted to the Ibne Sina Hospital in Kallyanpur area of the city on September 7 as his health condition turned worse.
Later, Nowsher was shifted to ICU of the hospital on the following day (Sept 8) as his condition further deteriorated and now he is
on life support there.
BFF president Kazi Mohammad Salahuddin, in media release on Saturday, sought blessing from all for his recovery and expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for bearing entire expenses of his (Nowsher) treatment.
"We are always monitoring his latest health condition," he added.
Nowsheruzzaman, a blue of Dhaka University, played for Bangladesh National Football team, club teams like Dhaka Mohammedan, Victoria SC, Dhaka Wanderers Club, Wari Club, Fire Services and WAPDA, apart from taking part in the Liberation War as member of Swadhin Bangla Football team .
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is testing all the members of the national team several times for Covid-19 ahead of the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka. In the second round of tests, all 18 cricketers who gave their samples returned negative, BCB confirmed on Saturday.
Other nine members of the national team gave their sample on Saturday, and they are expecting their result on Sunday.
“18 members who gave their sample on Friday are negative. Other nine members of the national team, who were out of Dhaka, gave their on Saturday and will get their result on Sunday. Of them, whoever returns negative will join the team to check-in at the hotel for the residential camp,” Debashis Chowdhury, the chief physician of BCB, told UNB.
Meanwhile, BCB announces a 27-member squad for skill training on Saturday. They will join a week-long camp starting from Sunday. This squad will be trimmed later before flying for the island nation.
The series, however, is still uncertain as the health department of Sri Lanka is yet to say yes due to the Covid-19 restriction. But BCB is hopeful of a positive response from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) within the next few days.