Reigning Bangladesh Premier League champions Bashundhara Kings bid for hosting their four-team Group D matches of the upcoming AFC Cup 2021.
Bangladesh Football Federation, in consultation with Kings, completed the bidding process officially last Wednesday.BFF Vice-President and Kings President Imrul Hassan told The Daily Sun on Friday that they wanted to arrange group matches at the Sylhet District Stadium.
“We chose Sylhet because Bangabandhu National Stadium doesn’t meet the AFC criteria. For example, the BNS doesn’t have enough chairs for spectators. We gave a fine for this issue every year. Sylhet also has good accommodation facilities, some big hotels. It is overall a good venue,” Imrul said.
The 25,000-capacity Sylhet stadium was previously expected to host the second-leg match of the Joint Qualification Round two for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 between Bangladesh and Afghanistan on March 25.
Another participating nation India also made a bid for hosting AFC Champions League and AFC Cup. They selected the Salt Lake Stadium, known as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, as the venue for the AFC Cup.
Kings have been put in the four-team group D along with Indian Super League team ATK Mohun Bagan and Dhivehi Premier League (Maldives) Maziya Sports and Recreation Club and the play-off winners (South).
BPL runners-up Dhaka Abahani Limited will play the qualifying play-off preliminary round two against the winners between Club Eagles of Maldives and Thimphu City of Bhutan. The winners of qualifying play-off preliminary round two will play the playoff (South).This year, a total of 49 clubs will compete in the meet. The competition is scheduled to kick off with the preliminary round on April 6. The group matches will be held at the centralised venues on May 14-20.