Despite yet another lockdown and the restriction of movement in districts adjacent to Dhaka, the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) decided to resume the Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium while exploring the feasibility of holding future matches at the Dhaka Residential Model School, United International University and the Army Stadium.
The BFF also decided to defer the league's resumption by one day. It will now begin on Saturday through a match between holders Bashundhara Kings and Rahmatganj instead of the Abahani-Mohhammedan clash, which was shifted to Sunday. After a day's break, the 18th round of the league matches will begin at the same venue.
"Every club is ready to take part in the league and we are going to resume on June 26, one day after the previously scheduled date of resumption, through a match between Bashundhara Kings and Rahmatganj," BFF senior vice president Abdus Salam Murshedy told the reporters after the emergency meeting of the professional league management committee was adjourned today.
"As we can't hold matches in Munshiganj, Gazipur or Cumilla because of the lockdown, we are exploring the feasibility of the Dhaka Residential Model School ground, United International University ground and the Army Stadium for holding league matches until the lockdown is lifted. Although we have a couple of astroturf grounds, the clubs don't want play on it," Murshedy said.
Asked about the logic of holding professional football league matches at school and university grounds, Murshedy said: "We see football played in snow-logged pitches across Europe. The fact is that we have to leave the BNS for renovation works by the first week of August. We also have to think about the next season and club engagements in AFC Cup and Asian Cup. So we have to complete the league immediately. We are thinking of those grounds on a temporary basis until the lockdown is withdrawn."
Murshedy also informed that Mohammedan had no objection about playing their next match against Abahani on June 26 as eight players and their Australian coach tested Covid-19 negative on Tuesday. Sean Lane informed that he had conducted training today in the presence of players who tested negative.