Only a day after the Bangladesh Football Federation finalised the fixture of the relegation deciding play-offs, the respective two teams Feni Soccer Club and Uttar Baridhara Club are refusing to take part in the home and away games.
The bottom two clubs of the Bangladesh Premier League sent a letter to football's governing body in the country on Tuesday informing that they are not interested to contest the play-offs with the first match scheduled to be held at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday at 3:30pm.
BFF's general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag admitted to receiving the letters. He also informed that the federation sent a reply to the clubs, stating that the fixtures won't be changed. He said the professional football league committee will take a final decision if the two clubs don't arrive at the venue in time.
Feni football manager Shakhawat Hossain Bhuiyan told Dhaka Tribune that they didn't receive any letter from the BFF, hence, saying, “Even if they do, BFF doesn't have the power yet to force us play the games.”
He added, “The contracts with the foreign players ended in December. Three of our foreign recruits left the country. The local players are tired after six months of continuous action. Many are injured. Who will play the matches?”
Uttar Baridhara general secretary Jahangir Alam echoed the same sentiment, citing the end of the foreign players' contracts. “The contracts with the foreign players expired on December 31. They are professional and will not play for the club without further deals. The locals are tired and went to their respective hometowns,” said Jahangir.
Earlier, the two clubs approached the BFF to consider keeping both the sides in the premier league.
The ninth edition of the professional league concluded on the last day of the year 2016 before which Abahani Limited were confirmed as champion but after the end of all 22 rounds, the relegation zone saw two sides stranded on the same number of points - 18.
The bottom placed side are supposed to get relegated to the Bangladesh Championship League and according to the BFF by-laws for the season 2015-16, the play-offs will decide who will stay and get relegated. It will be the first time in the history of the nine editions of the professional league that the play-offs would decide relegation.
The play-offs are scheduled to be held this Wednesday and this Saturday. Feni never got relegated to the second tier since their entrance to the top flight in 2009.