The measure was taken to reduce power and maintenance costs by restricting use of the courts, BBF general secretary Amir Hossain said
The Bangladesh Badminton Federation has locked the switchboards that control lights of three badminton courts at Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed National Indoor Stadium for the past two and a half months.
The measure was taken to reduce power and maintenance costs by restricting use of the courts, BBF general secretary Amir Hossain said.
Use of the courts has been restricted for all players since the BBF issued a notice on the matter on December 22.
The restrictions were lifted for top national players a month later, but no notice was issued on the development.
The original notice was still posted in the same place as of Friday.
“Can anyone use cricket and football stadiums whenever they want? Many unknown players from different academies used to practice here, which damaged our lights and increased power costs. We locked the switchboards to control this,” said Amir, who was in a rush to catch a flight to India.
Sunday morning, 13 players from the Police badminton team were training on a single court under just two halogen bulbs.
All nine main lights were switched off.
“I was a national player for 19 years, but I have never seen this before,” said Police coach Enayet Khan.
He added that they sent a letter to the BBF and National Sports Council Wednesday, asking for them to allow use of the lights for two and a half hours of practice per day.
However, the letter was in vain.
“We weren’t able to train since December, and resumed practice with makeshift lights on February 25. It is really disappointing to practice under such low light, as it hinders the players and may harm their eyesight,” complained Enayet, who has also been a national team coach since 2018.
While Enayet and his wife Elina Sultana, the second-ranked female badminton player of the country, have been critical of the BBF’s restrictions, other national coach Ohiduzzaman Raju and his wife Shapla Akter, the top ranked female badminton player, said some restrictions were necessary but they were unaware of the current circumstances.
“It [Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed National Indoor Stadium] is the main venue of badminton so it is not good to allow every player use the courts whenever they want, because sometimes some of them disturb the senior national players. There should be a proper system so that only the ranked players can practice,” said Shapla.
She also said she has only been able to practice on two days since the switchboards were locked, and most national players stay outside the capital.
The restrictions have been particularly detrimental for some young players who are for this month’s Metropolis Table Tennis league, the Bangabandhu Inter-University Championship and the Bangladesh Games.
The badminton events of the Bangladesh Games begin on March 28.
According to the National Sports Council, they were unaware the switchboards had been locked until a Bangla daily published a report on the matter Friday.
“There was no instruction from the NSC to lock switch boards or restrict power use. We will ask the federation for an explanation,” NSC secretary Masud Karim said.