Bangladesh ousted controversially

March 29, 2013

In a late twist to events, Bangladesh were controversially deposed off their status as one of the two best runners up sides as Laos and Turkmenistan were confirmed as
the two best runners up qualifiers for the AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives next year.
The official website of the Asian Football Confederation had shown Turkmenistan and Bangladesh as the two best runners up teams till Wednesday after the completion of
Group E’s matches which brought an end to the qualifying stage.
The Times Of India, an Indian daily newspaper also showed Bangladesh had qualified in one of their articles on Wednesday.
Even after the final match of the qualifying campaign between Philippines and Turkmenistan three days ago, the last paragraph of the match report on the official
website of the AFC had confirmed Bangladesh as one of the two best runners up sides.
In order to verify their position, the Bangladesh Football Federation sent a letter to the AFC. However, in the letter sent by AFC general secretary Dato Soosay, the
AFC mentioned that Laos and Turkmenistan were confirmed as the two best runners up qualifiers.
In the return letter sent by the BFF on Thursday, the administrators inquired why it had taken so long for the AFC to clear the confusion.
According to Article 16.1 and Appendix 2 of the tournament regulations, the absence of Brunei Darussalam in Group E meant that the outcome of the matches in the four
other groups between the runner-up and the bottom-placed team were declared null and void.
Bangladesh suffered greatly as they posted a handsome win of 4-0 over bottom-ranked side of Group D, Northern Mariana Islands. Since the result was declared
irrelevant, Bangladesh became the fourth best runners up side, hence losing their opportunity of qualifying as one of the two best runners up sides.
Previously, the AFC stated in their official website that another rule will be followed to decide the fate of the runner up sides. In the event of Brunei pulling out
of Group E, a walkover along with a scoreline of 3-0 was accorded to the other three teams of the group – Philippines, Turkmenistan and Cambodia.
Since Brunei were dragged out of the equation in the last minute, all the results of the runners up sides against the fourth placed teams were written off which meant
Bangladesh were out of reckoning for the AFC Challenge Cup as they were the fourth best runners up side, according to the new regulations set by the highest governing
body of Football in Asia.
Vice president of BFF, Kazi Nabil Ahmed was visibly disappointed with the recent turn of events and expressed his frustration.
‘It was a great injustice on the part of the AFC. We will not sit down in a quiet manner and do nothing. We will obviously seek clarification from the AFC because they
have disappointed us after keeping us waiting for such a long time,’ said Nabil on Thursday.
The general secretary of BFF, Abu Nayeem Shohag also vented his anger to oust Bangladesh and was left pondering whether to appeal the decision.
‘We have not yet decided whether we will appeal against the judgment. The president (Kazi Salahuddin) and the National Teams Committee will come to a decision
regarding this,’ said Shohag.

-With New Age input

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