Presidential candidate Badal Roy reiterated his withdrawal from the upcoming Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) polls, citing illness, and apologised to the organisers at the grassroots level.
"I am announcing again that I have pulled out of the elections because the condition of my health is not good. The organisers at grassroots level are really helpless and my mind cries for them. I don't know how they will take it, but I feel they will be hurt. Despite that, I am officially withdrawing from the elections," incumbent BFF vice-president Roy said at a press briefing in Motijheel yesterday, six days after first announcing that he would not compete in the October 3 polls.
The former footballer added: "Today I have come here with a broken mind. I have been with football for a long period and I always talk, criticise and protest in regards to football. But I never spoke against any person. I could not give much time to my family due to football. I cannot live without football. I have no allegations against anyone. The only allegation is that the responsibility of failure has to be borne by everyone but unfortunately there is no such responsibility at the BFF."
After allegedly facing pressure from some quarters to pull out, Roy, one of three candidates for the post of president, applied for a withdrawal on September 12. However, he submitted his withdrawal form after the deadline and so it was not considered by the election commission.
There were also whispers that pressure from those quarters had forced Roy to appear before the media to declare his withdrawal officially.
"There is no pressure on me from any quarter. It is a personal problem. I recovered from Covid-19 recently and am facing health pressure," said Roy, who however later pointed a finger at incumbent president Kazi Salahuddin.
"There may be a legal problem because I withdrew after the deadline. Mr Salahuddin has a lot of power and he could have solved this problem but I don't know why I am being harassed. I think everyone has to contest in the elections and the councillors will take the final decision," said Roy. "But I am pulling out with a lot of pain because everyone know I wanted to contest in elections because the BFF needs change in its leadership. Although we had before started work with Salahuddin bhai with pride, he never took advice to work at the grassroots."