Saturday, 3 June, 2023

Uncertainty looms over women’s franchise football

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 21 May, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Uncertainty looms over women’s franchise football

The uncertainty looms over the fate of the country’s maiden women’s franchise football tournament, Bangladesh Women’s Super League 2023 (WSL), as the organisers are suffering miserably to convince franchises to participate in the tournament and to confirm a centralised venue for the meet.

The players’ draft of WSL and auction was expected to be held from May 12-15 while the meet was expected to be started on May 22. Neither the draft formalities nor auction took place timely that almost confirmed that the league won’t take place on Monday anywise.

A source of Bangladesh Football Federation on request of anonymity informed that the organisers are able to convince only one franchise for the league so far. He further stated they have yet to confirm any venue in Dhaka.

However, The Daily Sun further learnt that the country’s most of the sports-friendly business houses are reluctant to invest their money in football due to the current situation of BFF.

The situation worsens after the High Court’s (HC) passed an order on Monday to investigate into allegations of corruption, money laundering and embezzlement against BFF president Kazi Salahuddin, senior vice-president Abdus Salam Murshedy and ex-general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag.

This reporter failed to communicate with concerned persons over the phone including CEO of the WSL organisers K-Sports Fahad Karim; BFF EC member, BFF acting general secretary Imran Hossain Tushar; BFF and AFC EC member and women’s wing chairman Mahfuza Akhter Kiron. 

While asking about WSL, BFF EC member and media committee chairman Zakir Hossain Chowdhury told The Daily Sun, “Actually, K-Sports and Fahad Karim can tell you better than me. A meeting between Fahad Bhai and Murshedy Bhai (BFF SVP) will be held this week. I can only assure that the league will be held but I should not say anything about the dates and venues.”

Earlier, the organisers arranged different colorful programmes to promote and launch the league. Tiktok was announced as the entertainment partner of WSL in the last programme of the trophy and ball unveiling ceremony.

Foot archer Orissa Kelly and British model and actress Karishma Kotak unveiled the trophy and balls at a hotel in Dhaka on May 1.

Fahad Karim earlier disclosed there would be four franchisees to take part in this meet. Each franchise would have 18-player including 13 local players and 5 foreigners -- two from South Asian nations, one from the rest of Asian nations, one from the African continent and one from the Australian continent.

However, the uncertainty of the league put an impact on players, who have been waiting for a long time to take part in any football competition since their last participation in SAFF Women’s Championship 2022 held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

“We have been waiting for this league for a long time. We didn’t go to play in the Indian league because of it. It will be frustrating for us if this much-hyped league does not roll on the field,” national women’s team captain Sabina Khatun told it in a pessimistic tone.