Bangladesh Premier League leaders Bashundhara Kings roped in Nigerian-born striker Eleta Kingsley and expatriate winger Obaidur Rahman Nawbab in the mid-term transfer window in a bid to strengthening their forward line-up but Kingsley's endeavour of making debut as a Bangladeshi player hangs in the balance due to lack of documents.
The 31-year-old forward, who has been awarded Bangladeshi citizenship in the middle of March, has been training with Kings for more than two weeks ahead of the second-phase of the league, which starts from April 30.
However, the Nigerian forward, who has been playing top-flight football in Bangladesh since 2011, hasn't received a Bangladeshi passport or a national Identity card yet, raising question about his eligibility to play in Bangladesh as a local player.
"We haven't received his passport yet, so how can we treat him as a local player? The bylaws suggest having local passport or NID as mandatory for someone to be treated as a local player," Bangladesh Football Federation's general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag told the Daily Star.
When asked whether Kingsley's registration is valid or not, the BFF general secretary said, "It is not that his registration process has not been completed. We will refer this matter to the Players' Status Committee for a final decision as Bashundhara Kings have asked us to treat Kingsley as a local player by providing documents they have. Kings have also sought more time for Kingsley."
"The players' status committee decides whether Kingsley can be an exception. If the committee permits him, he can play for Bashundhara Kings. Otherwise he has no possibility of playing for Kings until he submits NID or passport," Shohag added.
Bashundhara Kings' technical director BA Jubair Nipu hopes they would get the NID and passport soon as they have already started the process of obtaining those documents.
"As far as we know, Kingsley is eligible for domestic league as a local player but still not eligible for international matches," Nipu said. "Different government offices are closed now due to the pandemic and we are hoping to get his NID within a few days as we have already applied."
However, Obaidur, who has experience of playing in top Qatari League, has no such problems as he has a Bangladeshi passport.
Abdur Rahman, member of the players' status committee, informed that the committee has not been informed yet about the Kingsley issue and that it will enquire into it from the concerned personnel of the game's local governing body.