Holding the National Hockey Championship with participation of district and services teams hangs in the balance as the Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) is still undecided whether to allow some top national players to take part in a foreign league by halting the championship which is supposed to start on April 27.
Even though the national team had quite a few international engagements in recent times, most of the players of the team virtually sat idle at domestic circuit for nearly a year since the completion of the Dhaka Premier League last year.
The players were expected to get an opportunity to play in this event after the BHF executive committee last month decided to hold the championship in a new format which will allow each team to play more matches than before.
However, whether those national players will eventually have that opportunity hangs in the balance, especially after Tuesday's meeting among the BHF selection committee, head coach Oliver Kurtz and the BHF president.
It has been learnt that Kurtz wants the players to play in German leagues instead of the national championship while most of the BHF members who attended the meeting want to stick to the decision of holding the league from this month.
“We sat with the BHF president to discuss about the preparation of the national team for the Asia Cup. Coach Kurtz is interested to take the players to Germany in a bid to improve their standard,” BHF general secretary Abdus Sadeque said after the meeting. “Now holding the national championship depends on the decision of the BHF president even though the executive committee had earlier decided to hold it from April 27.”
Sadeque is clearly against the idea of sending the players to Germany by halting the championship and he is waiting for a final decision from the BHF president.
“FIH high profile coach Tahir Zaman, who recently conducted a coaching course in Bangladesh, told us that playing in second and third divisions in Germany would not help the Bangladesh players. We think the national players should play the national championship in which some 400 to 500 players will get the opportunity to show their worth.”
Asked whether it is impossible to hold the national championship without the players interested to play in Germany, Sadeque said, “If we hold the national championship starting this month, then the services teams will not permit their players [nearly 14 players of Bangladesh Navy team are supposed to play in German leagues] to go aboard, which means Kurtz's plan has to be scrapped.”