Arambagh relegated to first division for fixing

August 29, 2021

Bangladesh Football Federation has relegated Arambagh Krira Sangha to the first-division for two years on Sunday for their involvement in match-fixing in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.
Earlier, Arambagh were set to be relegated from the BPL after finishing 12th out of 13 teams in the running edition and were supposed to play in the Bangladesh Championship League next season.
But now, Arambagh will have to compete in the third-tier first division league and will not have the chance to earn promotion even if they win the league the next two years, however, in the same time period they are eligible to get further relegated.
BFF’s disciplinary committee handed the punishment to Arambagh alongside a cash penalty of Tk five lakh and imposed bans on officials and players for different periods.
Arambagh’s four former officials – president Minhazul Islam, team manager Gowhor Jahangir Rushu, assistant manager Arif Hossain and Indian fitness trainer Maidul Islam Sheikh – were handed life-time bans from all football activities.
The club’s former Indian support staff, physiologist Sanjay Bose and game analyst Azizul Sheikh were each handed a 10-year ban.
Former goalkeeper Apel Mahmud was banned for five years while eight players – goalkeeper Abul Kashem Milon, defenders Al-Amin, Md Roky, Zahid Hossain, Kazi Rahad Mia, Mostafizur Rahman, Shamim Reza and Australian defender Smith Bradie Christian were banned for three years each.
Another five players – defender Omar Faruk, midfielder Rakibul Islam, forwards Mehedi Hasan Fahad, Miraz Mollah and the Nigerian forward Chizoba Christopher Iyikwobe –were handed a two-year ban.
BFF’s Fixed Match Detection Committee investigated the matter for five months and on the basis of their report the disciplinary committee gave its verdict.
‘As a judicial body we only can give the verdict, what we did was all on the basis of Fixed Match Detection Committee’s investigation report,’ disciplinary committee chief Mesbah Uddin told New Age.
Mesbah didn’t disclose any other information to the media about the verdict and investigation process.
‘As a judge, I cannot talk about the findings of the investigation or the investigation process or pass comments about verdicts before the media,’ said Mesbah.
BFF’s head of competitions Zaber Bin Taher Ansari said, ‘The Fixed Match Detection Committee, involving some intelligence agencies high officials and other experts, conducted the investigation and found Arambagh players and officials as guilty.’
The FMDC started the investigation from February 2021, after the Asian Football Confederation sent a letter to the BFF asking it to investigate five matches of the BPL for match-fixing.
Other teams who were part of those matches were not found guilty, said BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag.
‘Brothers Union and all other teams who played in the five suspected matches were not found involved in fixing in the Fixed Match Detection Committee’s investigation.’
Shohag also said that Arambagh has the legal option to appeal against some of the verdicts and the club’s general secretary Yakub Ali vowed to do just that.
‘We will definitely appeal. I hope the federation will take the appeal under its consideration,’ he said.
BFF’s disciplinary committee passed the verdicts on August 26 and announced it on Sunday.

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