Monday, 28 November, 2022
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‘Stepped down just because of business, political engagement’

Bangladesh Football Federation senior vice-president Abdus Salam Murshedy on Saturday stepped down from the post of Professional League Management Committee chairman after 13 years due to his political career and business. Murshedy, who is also the chairman of BFF’s two more sub-committees – referees and finance – made the announcement during a press conference after a PLMC meeting at BFF house in the capital. The former national footballer had been playing the role of PLMC chairman since its formation in 2008. Though he announced his resignation from PLMC chief, he didn’t make any comment on three other posts. Murshedy on Sunday talked to The Daily Sun regarding his decision of stepping down from the post of PLMC chief including his business and political engagement, etc.

 

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

 The Daily Sun: What are the reasons behind your step down from Professional League Management Committee chairman?

Murshedy: Business and politics. It wasn’t a sudden decision. The Envoy group used to be owned by two families, but now I own it alone. I bought the ownership in June. The international business market is extremely challenging now, it is difficult and challenging to take responsibility for 20 to 22 thousand people. So, I need to give more time here. Also, I'm spending a lot of time in politics after covid. I’m regularly visiting my constituency.

Responsibilities have increased now. No doubt football is my love and passion. Football brought me here, all my identity belongs to football. I became an MP due to this football. I am a president of a business organisation due to this football.

The Daily Sun: You had been playing the role of PLMC chairman since its formation in 2008. How challenging was it?  

Murshedy: There had been a lot of challenges in this position. Even I think it is the most challenging post in football. I've developed a thing here. The championship league (BCL) was not in the professional league, I brought it here and it has been taking place for the last 10 years. Also, I started some trends among our stakeholders (clubs). For example, they now have permanent members, and supporters who come to watch games. The clubs are now getting winning money, and participation money. I’ve started all these trends. I will be pleased when these clubs will have their own grounds, members-supporters and when they will be Ltd and will get bank loans like English clubs. My initiatives at least made the way easier for the next chairman after me.

It was challenging for me to bring our organisers and players of these clubs into professionalism. Now almost all the clubs pay their players a handsome amount of money. I confess that not all of these clubs are in the same position, but I believe that I was able to develop a professional mindset among our organisers.

The Daily Sun: Some clubs have always tried to get extra advantages from you and you have arranged leagues and made formats and selected venues as per their demands. Is it true? 

Murshedy: Actually, the clubs are the main stakeholders of us, no matter how big or small, whatever they are. If they do not participate, then how could we get players for the national teams? I think that I had to fulfill their demands in some cases, but absolutely not their unreasonable demands. I’ve always respected their rightful demands. I salute the organisers because they are suffering a lot, facing a lot of obstacles to running their clubs. They think about the club despite having hardships. I’ve witnessed them closely. In some cases, I’ve personally helped some clubs. I could understand the requirements of our clubs. So, I had tried to return their sacrifices, not an advantage. The next chairman has to keep in mind that the clubs are the main stakeholders and the clubs have to keep in mind that they have to obey the rules.

The Daily Sun: The football community believes the professional leagues were not competitive during your reign. What do you think?

Murshedy: I arranged 12 leagues in 13 years. I continued the league into the Hefazat incident, the only league that was abandoned during the pandemic covid situation. Of course, it is possible because of our stakeholders (clubs). We have many limitations. When our national team called camp or some clubs went to participate in international competitions, we had to pause the leagues for one or two months. So, we failed to end the league or calendar as per time.

Those who say the leagues are not competitive, they are wrong. If our leagues are not competitive, then how are our clubs doing well in international competitions? This year, we got a lot of young players. Also, the standard of our foreigners has also increased more than before. We have seen tough fights in relegation zones. What can be more competitive than this in terms of the standard of our country? Nothing more is expected from it.

The Daily Sun: What will be your suggestion for the next chairman?

Murshedy: My suggestion will be I have set up a train into a line and his duty will be to drag it forward. Whoever will come in this post, I’ll be ready to assist him. A person can’t hold a position for a lifetime. Another person will come and move the goal forward. It is a very difficult responsibility. There are lots of limitations. I wish very good luck to the next chairman.