Sanat Babla, special correspondent of Daily Kaler Kantho, read out the key-note paper in the seminar, highlighting the prospects and drawbacks of the new league format and the franchise-based BSL.
BFF president Kazi Salahuddin said the new format of the BPL could be a way of bringing the football fans back in the gallery. ‘To be honest I didn’t support the new format because with that the clubs will become more dependent on us,’ said Salahuddin. ‘But we are going to change the format because we want to involve the district organisers to mainstream football as well as encourage the fans return to the gallery.’
Salahuddin blamed the players and clubs for their lack of commitment. ‘Our job is to make sure all the training facilities for the players and provide them the best possible coaching staff and accommodation and we are providing it regularly,’ he said. ‘But we don’t see the promise on the players. ‘We want to organise the BPL in home-and-away basis and for that we offered best possible assistance to the clubs but I feel sorry to say that the clubs are not interested to take any venues outside Dhaka.
Tarafder Ruhul Amin, the chairman of BPL and BSL rights holder Saif Global Sports Limited, urged the government to make all the venues ready before the BPL starts on July 25. ‘To bring back the past glory we want to organise a colourful edition and we are working on it,’ he said. ‘But to organise such a league we need some better stadiums outside Dhaka. I would like to request the government to renovate all the stadiums before the league starts.’ Expressing his disappointment, Tarafder said that the game’s governing body and government showed little interest to provide their assistance over hosting the franchisee football league.
‘I came to football only because of holding a franchisee-based tournament and I have already spent Tk three to four crores but I didn’t see the same kind of enthusiasm among other stakeholders.’
BSPA president Mustafa Mamun believed a successful BPL could open the door for the BSL where millions of money could be involved. ‘Football organisers tried in many ways to develop the football but we didn’t see much progress. I think the new format of BLP can set a new example for the organisers who are eager to host the BSL.’
Sports editor of Channel-24 Dilu Khandaker asked to give more emphasis on school football and also engage the state-owned BKSP across the country to run the football training camps.
Sport editor of fortnightly Krirajagat Dulal Mahmud requested the BFF to remain strict to its domestic calendar.
Deputy Minister for youth and sports, Arif Khan Joy, promised to take the necessary steps to prepare all the stadiums for the forthcoming league.
BFF senior vice-president Abdus Salam Murshedy, BFF vice-president Badol Roy, president of Sylhet District Football Association Mahiuddin Ahmed Selim and national team assistant coach Saiful Bari Titu also spoke on the occasion.