Country’s sports federations opened their offices after a 70-day-break as the government eased lockdown and allowed all offices and businesses to resume operations on a limited scale from May 31 to June 15. But most of the federations are now showing symptoms of financial distress in the wake of pandemic coronavirus outbreak.
Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Handball Federation (BHF) Asaduzzaman Kohinoor said that the suspension of games due to pandemic had caused a financial crisis so that the government must support sports federations to avoid long-term disaster.“We are mainly a sponsor-based federation, but there is no game for the last two months. The suspension of games due to pandemic had caused a financial crisis so that the government must support sports federations to avoid long-term disaster. Most of the federations aren’t financially secure enough to cope with the consequences of the pandemic. We are planning to sit down with the Ministry for Youth and Sports on this issue as soon as possible,” he told daily sun on Monday.
Country’s all sports federations were expected to arrange a number of national and international tournaments to celebrate the 100th birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, but the pandemic forced to halt all of those arrangements. Likewise, BHF also suspended their two major arrangements -- Bangabandhu International Handball Competition and Bangabandhu National Handball Competition.
“Like as Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) we also continued our office on a limited scale during the mass holiday. The present situation isn’t favorable for arranging any competitions and also our finances hadn’t gained stability yet. We have to wait until the situation becomes normal,” he added.
BOA continued its office on a limited scale during the lockdown. The association postponed its 9th Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games which was scheduled to be held from April 1 to 10 with 31 sports disciplines last March. A total of 10600 athletes were expected to compete for 1338 medals including 396 golds, 396 silvers and 546 bronzes in 31 sports of the games at the country’s 23 different venues. BOA also instructed federations to halt their camps for the country’s sports extravaganza.
“BOA is now observing the situation. We will start work for the games after the end of this disaster. It may take some more time. We will until the right time,” Kohinoor, who is also a Deputy Secretary General of BOA further said.
Another Deputy Secretary General of BOA Ashikur Rahman Miku, who is also the General Secretary of Bangladesh Volleyball Federation (BVF) said, “Athletes safety and security comes first. We are not thinking about Bangabandhu Bangladesh Games in this present situation. Let’s see what happens in the future. BVF also opened its office, but we are also observing the situation.”BVF suspended its three major arrangements -- Senior Men’s Central Zone International Volleyball Championship, Bangabandhu National Volleyball competition final round and National School Volleyball Competition.
Like as handball federation, Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) has also been facing financial hardship. International Arbiters of BCF Haroon or Rashid said, “Funding is obviously a big issue. We have some sponsors like Abul Khair Group, Saif Power Tec Limited; but I don’t know how much they can help us. All of our leagues and tournaments have been suspended due to pandemic, so we have planned to organise a rapid chess tournament and online chess course for our players.”
BCF completed its one of the arrangements for ‘Mujib Borsho’ National Youth Chess Championship’2020 on last March but suspended 1st International Grand Masters Chess tournaments.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) and Bangladesh Athletic Federation (BAF) also opened their offices on a limited scale.
BFF also completed one of its arrangements the six-nation Bangabandhu Gold Cup’2020 on last January but called off its ongoing season of domestic leagues due to coronavirus. The federation is now awaiting government advices for arranging international meets including Bangabandhu SAFF Championship, Bangabandhu SAFF U-15 Championship and other domestic leagues. On the other hand, BAF also postponed Bangabandhu SAFF Athletics Championship, Bangabandhu District Mini Marathon, and Bangabandhu Divisional Mini Marathon.
BAF General Secretary Advocate Abdur Rakib Montu said, “Waiting for further instruction from Sports Ministry. There are no plans for arranging any competitions or resuming camps at this moment.”
Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) will open its office on Thursday. BHF halted all its domestic and international meets including Bangabandhu Men’s Junior Asia Cup’2020, Hero Men’s Asian Champions Trophy’2020.
BHF General Secretary Mohammed Yousuf said, “We have a meeting with Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) this week. We will discuss this issue. Our office will open on Thursday, after that we will take the initiative to restart domestic season.”