Fourteen months after the completion of the last players' transfers of the Premier Division Hockey League, the Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) is seemingly reluctant to declare the players' transfers for the upcoming season, leaving another season at risk of disappearing from the calendar.
The game's governing body last held the players' transfers in January 16 last year after a two-year gap, but the players -- especially who represented the national team at the international level -- were deprived of getting their demanded wages after being bracketed into three grades which offered less pay than what was expected. As a result, even players outside the national team earned less than expected from the clubs.
Whereas the players expect the game's governing body to recuperate some of their financial losses by declaring this season's players' transfers open before the start of the AHF Asia Cup -- which is scheduled to begin in Dhaka in October -- the BHF has taken virtually no initiative to stage the transfers. Instead they are busy holding the next elections of the federation and concentrating on hosting the eight-team Asia Cup.
"Whenever the players demanded the players' transfers in past, we were tagged in the conspiracy, so I don't want to be part of that conspiracy by talking about the players' transfers. I know whatever we earned from hockey came from playing in the premier league as we could hardly get anything by playing for the national team. So the federation should look after the things to keep the hockey players alive," said a senior player on condition of anonymity.
He added that some top hockey players were preparing to go to Germany to play the domestic league there and earn some money to run their families, but he was worried about the rest of the players who depend on the Premier Division Hockey League.
When contacted, BHF general secretary Abdus Sadque said that there was hardly any possibility of declaring the players' transfers and holding the league before the completion of the AHF Asia Cup in October.
"The national hockey team are supposed to travel to Germany and Austria and will stay there for two months as part of their preparations for the Asia Cup as well as to play in the domestic league in Germany. Besides that the polls of the federation is supposed to be held in July and the Asia Cup is scheduled to take place here in October. The clubs are also not interested to take part in players' transfers before the Asia Cup. So, the players' transfers may take place in November,” said Sadeque.
The BHF general secretary however said he understood the need for the players' transfers and promised that he would try to make the clubs understand and take part in the transfers before the start of Asia Cup.