The country’s top outfits welcomed Bangladesh Football Federation’s decision on resuming the Bangladesh Premier League from April 30.
The Professional Football League Committee on Thursday decided to start the second phase of the BPL during a virtual meeting in order to avoid fixture congestion in the busy international window.PFLC said that the delay of the league will create fixture congestion for the local players and clubs who will pass a busy time with their international assignments in the next two months. Reigning champions Bashundhara Kings will be busy with their group matches of AFC Cup 2021 from May 14 to 20 in Maldives while Dhaka Abahani Limited will also play in the qualifying playoffs.
Bangladesh national team will also play their remaining matches of the joint qualification for FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 from June 3 to 15 in Qatar.
“There is no other option here. If PFLC waits for the AFC Cup and World Cup qualifiers, the league will be uncertain. Because we have to pass a busy schedule in the next two months,” said Kings President Imrul Hassan.
“If the government again announced the lockdown next month then everything will be over. I think PFLC wants to end the league as soon as possible. They don't want to abandon it again. We agree with them,” Imrul added. Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Ltd, Dhaka Abahani Ltd and Chattogram Abahani Ltd also gave their consent to resume the league.
“We have continued the camp during the lockdown. If we closed the camp and sent players to their homes then they might be infected by Covid-19,” said Sheikh Russel’s sports director Saleh Jaman Selim.
Sheikh Jamal DC head coach Shafiqul Islam Manik believed that a seven-day preparation would be good enough for his side to play the rest of the BPL. “I think seven-day is enough for preparation. We have started our camp and hopefully, we will be ready by this time,” said Manik.Meanwhile, the bottom-ranked teams like Uttar Baridhara Sporting Club, Mohammedan SC Ltd, Arambagh Krira Sangha said they need some time for preparation before taking part in the league.
“We also want to play but we asked for another week's time for preparation before starting the league. We have called players to return to the camp,” said Uttar Baridhara General Secretary Jahangir Alam.
Arambagh KS Vice-President Azaz Mohammed Jahangir said they have already informed their players to return to their camp after the decision.
“We closed camps and sent our players to their homes. We told them to return to the camp. We were not prepared so we have disagreed with that date at the meeting. But as most of the clubs agreed, we may have to play,” said Jahangir.