Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) senior vice-president and the finance committee’s chairman Salam Murshedy said in no uncertain terms that, “No corruption took place” at a press conference held after an emergency meeting of the federation’s executive committee on Monday afternoon.
However, just minutes before Salam boldly claimed that no corruption had taken place, the BFF president Kazi Salahuddin, who was sitting beside him at the press conference, said the federation’s general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag, who has been banned by FIFA for two years, will no longer take part in BFF activities.
BFF also formed a 10-member investigation committee to look into the entire fiasco. Four BFF vice-presidents Kazi Nabil Ahmed, Imrul Hasan, Mohiuddin Mohi and Ataur Rahman Bhuiyan, BFF members Satyajit Das, Elias Hossain and Zakir Hossain Chowdhury and three members of BFF’s internal audit committee constitute the committee. The committee will file its report within one month.
In the meeting, BFF’s current protocol manager Imran Hossain was named the acting general secretary of BFF. Salam said, they will follow the appropriate process and appoint a new general secretary within the next three-six months.
The emergency meeting started at 4:00pm and ran for a little over an hour. The only agenda of the meeting was the FIFA ban on Shohag and what the federation was to do next. Most BFF members were present at the meeting. Vice-presidents Kazi Nabil Ahmed and Ataur Rahman Bhuiyan joined the meeting via online.
The BFF president and senior vice-president, however, didn’t answer most of the questions posed by the reporters. When asked about corruption, Salam retorted by saying, “No corruption took place. Retract this word that you used. FIFA didn’t say anything about corruption.”
Salam was also asked whether Salahuddin should step down as BFF president after the debacle. Salam, with a smile on his face, replied, "It’s a very interesting question. Bangladesh Football Federation is the only federation in Bangladesh where the election takes place under global supervision. There is no scope of removing someone or banning someone." The very next moment he said, “If a person doesn’t step down himself.”
The irregularities FIFA uncovered in its investigation were happening from 2016-17. FIFA had warned the BFF multiple times. As the president, Salahuddin didn’t pay heed to their warnings and didn’t take any steps. So naturally, he also must share the blame.
But as per Salahuddin’s explanation, Shohag is the one who misused his position and his office made the mistakes– which have been proved. As the president, he can’t be blamed.
Salam ended the press conference in a hurry right before iftar and said they will be vigilant to make sure mistakes like this don’t happen again in the future.