Kings reluctant to bid for hosting rights
Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Champions Bashundhara Kings would not bid to host the Group E matches of AFC Cup 2020, said club’s Marketing and Media Manager Ahmed Shaaek to daily Sun on Friday.
“We got a letter from AFC from Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) on Friday. We aren’t able to host any competition at this moment. The situation (coronavirus) is getting worse; don’t know when it will become normal. We have earlier informed AFC. We are sure that we won’t join the bidding process,” he said.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) sent a letter to BFF last Thursday informing their final decision on a new centralised format for the rest of group matches of AFC Cup 2020. According to the centralised format, the rest of Group E matches will be held on October 23, October 26, October 29, November 1 and November 4 while single-leg Inter zone semi-finals will be held on November 24 to November 25, single-leg Inter zone final on December 2 and single-leg AFC Cup final on December 12.
Besides, AFC also invited its Participating Member Associations (PAMs) and Participating Club(s) to bid for hosting the matches. The last date to bid is July 17 while AFC will take the final decision on July 31.
AFC also issued some directives for Bidding MA (BMA): “The match schedule shall be maintained without further change. The Bidding MA (BMA) shall guarantee that there will be no travel restrictions, visa complications for any participating clubs and AFC delegation. There shall be reasonably convenient flight connections to the territory of the BMA from the countries of the Visiting Clubs. Possibility to accommodate simultaneous kick-off for the last matches of the Group Stage shall be accommodated with sufficient venues to be proposed for Group stage. There shall be a minimum of one training field per two participating clubs. AFC will reserve the commercial rights to exercise all marketing, TV and ticketing rights as well as the right to propose the preferred kick-off times for the matches.”
Besides, AFC will consider the medical situation of BMAs and while the BMAs shall organise and deliver a mandatory Covid-19 test at the venue for all members of AFC and participating teams upon arrival.
BFF General Secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag told the media, “We have already informed Bashundhara Kings. BFF and Kings have to make decisions together. If we want to host, then we have to submit all bidding documents by the deadline of July 17. We’ll see whether we are able to host or not.”
Earlier, AFC proposed their new centralised format in their last meeting with MAs of AFC Cup 2020 Group E namely Bangladesh, India and Maldives on June 5.
Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) champions Bashundhara Kings have been placed in Group E (South Zone) along with Chennai City Football Club of India and two Maldivian clubs TC Sports Club, Maziya Sports and Recreation Club. Teams played one match each on first match day on March 11 two days after AFC froze its ongoing season for an indefinite period in the wake of the pandemic worldwide. Kings beat former Dhivehi (Maldives) Premier League Champions TC Sports Club by 5-1 goals in the group opener in March at Bangabandhu National Stadium.