Mohammedan struggled in the relegation zone in the first phase of the last premier league but made a good comeback in the second phase to finish at ninth in the 12-team league while Arambagh and Muktijoddha finished at fifth and seventh respectively
The players’ transfer window for the upcoming 2019-20 football season is all set to open Tuesday with the participation of 13 clubs including Mohammedan Sporting Club, Arambagh Krira Sangha and Muktijoddha SKC amid the recent casino scandals but the club trio is uncertain about how their squad would be formed.
Mohammedan struggled in the relegation zone in the first phase of the last premier league but made a good comeback in the second phase to finish at ninth in the 12-team league while Arambagh and Muktijoddha finished at fifth and seventh respectively.
During the recent casino crackdown, the club premises of these three top-flight outfits were raided by the law enforcement agencies and found illegal casino equipments which were not only tarnished the image of the clubs but also put the existing club authorities in peril.
To add more agony to Mohammedan, its director-in-charge Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan was also arrested by police for being involved in illegal money transaction. However, one of the club directors, Zakaria Pintu is adamant to join the transfer window.
“Mohammedan is a supporter-based club, so we must form a team but I can’t say how the squad would be. The former Mohammedan players will sit in a meeting Tuesday where we will discuss this matter.” said Pintu, the captain of Swadhin Bangla Football Team.
Arambagh president Mominul Haque Sayeed and general secretary Yakub Ali are currently outside the country. Its vice-president Izaz Mohammad Jahangir said, “Our target was to surprise everyone by forming a strong squad and we also talked to some high-paid players accordingly. But we can’t meet our goal under the current situation.”
Muktijoddha manager Mohammad Ariful Islam said, “We gave token money to 22 players ahead of the upcoming season. I heard that four or five players’ checks have been dishonored. I can’t say what the future of Muktijoddha is, the top authorities can only say.”
The transfer window will continue until November 20 and this time around, each participating club will be allowed to register five foreign players for the next professional season, instead of four from the previous season but maximum four of them can play in each match day.
Some clubs have already roped in foreign players. Reigning premier league champions and Independence Cup champions Bashudhara Kings extended the contract of its Costa Rican World Cupper Daniel Colindres for one more year and also signed Lebanese star forward Mohamed Jalal Kdouh. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club also signed Muktijoddha’s two top performers from last season – Yusufe Kato and Ballo Famoussa.
Bashundhara Kings’ president Imrul Hasan informed that the club is “almost done with the local players”, as Abahani Limited duo - Topu Barman, Atiqur Rahman Fahad and Arambagh youngster Rabiul Hasan, Sheikh Jamal right-back Monir Hossain, Rahmatganj goalkeeper Hamidur Rahman Remon are set to join the Kings. Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, Hemanta Vincent Biswas, Saddam Hossain Anny, Sohanur Rahman, Rezaul Karim, Didarul Alam are likely to leave the club.
Along with Bashundhara, six-time BPL winners and current Federation Cup champions Abahani, Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra, Saif Sporting Club, Arambagh Krira Sangha, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, Muktijoddha, Chittagong Abahani, MSC, Rahmatganj MFS, Brothers Union will be competing in the upcoming season along with two new promoted sides – Police SC and Uttar Baridhara SC. Baridhara will make their return to top-flight after two seasons while it will be debut premier league participation for Police, who clinched the Bangladesh Championship League title to earn the historic promotion.