The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has once again deferred women’s football league, which will be held in January next year after the game’s local governing body has failed to confirm participating clubs for the league, which was last held in 2013.
Bangladesh have had reasonable success at age-group women’s football but the senior women’s team, which mostly comprise of junior players, have failed to replicate that success at international level. Hence there has been a demand for a long time to resume women’s league so as to give the age-group players a platform to mature by playing domestic league, which will also help them financially and prolong their football career.
Having boldly announced its plan of restarting women’s league from October-November, the BFF in March this year had prepared a set of rules under club licensing regulations for clubs, organisations and corporate houses willing to take part. The BFF also invited its affiliated bodies and corporate houses to be part of the league.
But the game’s local governing body failed to meet the deadline, deferring it to December. BFF also did not send the women’s football team in the just-concluded South Asian Games citing the start of women’s league, but it has now rescheduled the start of the league to January, a month when Bangabandhu Gold Cup international football tournament is scheduled to take place.
“Some five to seven teams are ready to take part in women’s football league and we are expecting to start it in the third week of January even though the final decision will be taken at the meeting of women’s committee within a week,” BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag told The Daily Star. “Earlier, no teams were willing to participate in women’s league but this time around, we have some teams who want to play.”
According to Shohag, Bashundhara Kings, Sheikh Russel KC, Sheikh Jamal DC and one team each from Rangpur and Old Dhaka have confirmed their participation while Team BJMC will inform of their decision by Tuesday.
“We have sent invitation to all affiliated bodies. Former women’s league champions Abahani and two-time women’s league runners-up Mohammedan informed us in written that they would participate in women’s league if we hold it in April but we don’t want to make any further delay as we also have a plan of holding another women’s league in the latter part of next year,” said Shohag, adding that they will hold the league in double-leg format if they have six teams in the league.