A day after taking a preliminary decision of hosting the Bangabandhu Gold Cup from October 22 to November 2 during a meeting of the Bangladesh Football Federation’s (BFF) executive committee, the local game’s governing body apparently retreated from the decision, allowing the same window for the third edition of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup.
Since the BFF had initially allowed Chittagong Abahani’s bid of hosting the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup in Chittagong in the latter stages of October, with three of the country’s top teams taking part, the decision on Saturday, albeit a draft one, came as a surprise as it would mean a clash between the Bangabandhu Gold Cup and the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup.
However, a meeting among the BFF high-ups and representatives of Chittagong Abahani -- involving the club’s chairman MA Latif, MP, the club’s general secretary Shamsul Haque Chowdhury, MP, and BFF president Kazi Salahuddin, among others -- prompted the game’s local governing body to shift the Bangabandhu Gold Cup to a later date.
“The decision regarding the Bangabandhu Gold Cup that was relayed after the executive committee meeting on Saturday was a draft one, not a final one. The Chittagong Abahani officials came to meet us today and after today’s meeting, the BFF has allocated October 19 to 30 as the slot for Sheikh Kamal International Gold Cup,” BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag told The Daily Star yesterday.
“Since the BFF is for football, we have tried to make sure these two events do not clash. So we can expect the Bangabandhu Gold Cup to be held at a suitable time in November,” added Shohag.
Shamsul Haque Chowdhury told reporters that apart from Bashundhara Kings, Abahani and Chittagong Abahani, there will be five foreign teams taking part in the club event, with East Bengal and Mohun Bagan from India and defending champions TC Sports of Maldives already confirmed. The other two teams, still not confirmed, will be two top teams from Thailand and Malaysia.
The hosts also named a 17-member organising committee for the club event, with finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, MP, as its chairman.