Teams: Arsenal, Roma, Italy, Milan
Finally the professional league starts in Bangladesh.
THE DAILY STAR
Fri. March 02, 2007
Football's new beginning
Football goes professional in the country today with Abahani and Muktijoddha all set to make history as opponents of the B. League's opening match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Traditionally, openers are mismatched with a local giant facing the newcomers but nothing could have been better than the two biggest budgeted sides being pitted against each other on the historic moment.
Sports Adviser Tapan Chowdhury will grace the august occasion as chief guest.
In a message to the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF), Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed Bin Hammam Bin Hammam said: "The potential for football development in Bangladesh is enormous but this has yet to be fully realised. Vision Bangladesh is designed to provide a framework that with concentrated effort and hard work can enhance the profile and standard of football in your country.
"The Bangladesh Professional Football League is an important element and key focus of Vision Bangladesh which will provide a higher platform for the Bangladeshi players, clubs, coaches, referees and officials. I am confident that the Bangladesh League will be the beginning of a new era in the history of Bangladeshi football.
He said the development of football in Asia was of crucial importance to AFC and that its revolutionary Vision Asia programme held the key to unleashing the potential of football across the vast continent.
The event, which ultimately kicks off with 11 teams, have gone through all the pains of creation but it will be welcomed by the millions of football fans who have been waiting eagerly to see the 'dying game' in the country back on the big stage.
Delayed for umpteenth time, many doubted whether the league would see light of day at all but as the first transfer window closed on a hectic final day last night, the Godo has finally arrived.
After a gala half-an-hour opening ceremony, the match will kick off at 5.50pm at the renovated and spectacular national stadium No. 1.
Channel i will telecast the ceremony and the match live.
The satellite TV channel, which holds the TV rights, will broadcast at least 40 matches live. The matchdays are Friday, Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The venues outside Dhaka are Chittagong -- home of local Abahani and Mohammedan -- and Khulna for their own Abahani.
The Dhaka clubs are Muktijoddha, Abahani, Mohammedan, Brothers, Arambagh, Sheikh Russel, Farashganj and Rahmatganj.
The B. League will also mark domestic football's return to field after more-than-a-year's absence and the Bangladesh Football Federation has taken a precaution to lure the crowd. If not football, they will certainly turn out to watch Ayub Bachchu, country's one of the leading singers, in concert after the match.
Gallery tickets will cost Tk 30 while VIP tickets will be sold for Tk 100 (Gate 3), Tk 60 (Gate 2) and women's gallery (Gate 10) for Tk 50.
Women's tickets will be available at the entry while other tickets will be available at the stadium counters from 12 noon.
"What is popular is not always right, What is right is not always popular."