The draw for the BFF U-18 Football Tournament 2017-18 season was held at BFF House Tuesday afternoon as the season-ending event is all set to get underway with the participation of 12 top-flight clubs on April 26.
The toughest group among the four is perhaps Group C where Chittagong Abahani Limited and Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited were pitted together with Independence Cup winner Arambagh Krira Sangha.
Premier League and Federation Cup champion Abahani Limited got a comparatively easier draw, having been placed in Group D alongside Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra and Farashganj Sporting Club.
Rising powerhouse Saif Sporting Club and Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra were placed in Group A along with Brothers Union while Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, Team BJMC and old Dhaka outfit Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society were drawn in Group B.
Every participating club will get to play only two matches each in the group stage. Admitting that the number of matches in the group stage is not enough, the BFF’s senior vice president Abdus Salam Murshedy pledged to organise the tournament in a much bigger scale from next season onwards.
"This is the last tournament of the season in the BFF calendar, and also a very important one for us and the clubs. This time we are only following the routine due to some limitations, as well as a lack of time. Next year we will put it into the by-laws to hold the event in accordance with the league basis so that the young players get more playing time," said Murshedy after the draw.
Murshedy, also the chairman of the professional league committee, informed that the budget of the tournament is Tk50 lakhs out of which $40,000 (Tk33,21,200 approximately) will be provided by Fifa while the rest will be covered from the sponsors’ money. Every participating team will receive Tk2 lakhs while the champion will be awarded Tk5 lakhs. Walton Group is the title sponsor of the event while Pragati Insurance is the co-sponsor.
Brothers Union, Sheikh Russel and Saif Sporting
Sheikh Jamal, Rahmatganj and Team BJMC
Chittagong Abahani, Arambagh and Mohammedan
Abahani, Muktijoddha and Farashganj