Spurred on by Bangladesh’s success in international women’s football, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is about to kick-start the country’s first ever franchise football league.
Sports management and marketing company K-Sports took the initial initiative and presented a preliminary plan for a women’s football franchise league to BFF, which they accepted.
The franchise league has been titled Bangladesh Women’s Super League and is expected to begin its inaugural season in the coming May. The logo unveiling ceremony of the league took place at the capital’s La Meridien hotel on Monday night.
Although BFF have already announced that the league will begin in around two months, they are yet to finalise many crucial details.
There are three potential venues for the tournament. BFF’s first choice is the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS). But if the ongoing renovation works at the BNS doesn’t end by May, the league will take place at the Bashundhara Kings Arena and the Sylhet District Stadium.
BFF also haven’t decided how many teams will take part. The number of teams could be five or six and a total of 19-24 matches could take place in a two round league.
The footballers will be divided in three categories– ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ and each team can have a maximum of 18 players in their squad. Five overseas players can be included in each team, two of them have to be from South Asia and the remaining three can be from outside of the region.
K-Sports chief executive Fahad Karim presented these details about the league on a big screen to the BFF high-ups and officials of sponsor companies at Monday’s event.
BFF president Kazi Salahuddin views organising a tournament like this as a huge challenge, “This is a completely new thing for us. There are many factors at play. Who will own the franchises, how much the players would get paid, these are big issues. It’s a difficult task.”
“How will the (Bangladesh Women’s Football League) clubs give clearances to the players is also an issue. This is a challenge for us. Still, I have approved this league. A major plus point is that our girls will get to play a lot of matches in the league. They will also financially benefit from this,” he added.
Bangladesh captain Sabina Khatun said, “I’m excited by the franchise league. Hopefully, this will play a huge role in taking women’s football forward.”