Incumbent Bangladesh Hockey Federation general secretary Abdus Sadeque said on Saturday he will launch a franchise-based league if he is elected on April 29 elections.
Sadeque is leading a panel in the elections that are facing a strong challenge from a panel led by Mohammedan Sporting Club councillor AKM Mominul Haque Shaeed.
Shaeed-led panel already unveiled an ambitious plan for hockey, throwing a big challenge for their rivals to come up with an equally good promise.
Sadeque said their panel will roll out an election manifesto on Sunday evening, around a 12- hour before the voting starts.
‘If we can win in the elections, we will run franchise-based league for hockey,’ Sadeque told New Age, adding that they were confident of a win.
‘In our manifesto, what we will announce at Dhaka Club on Sunday evening, our priority will be spreading out the game at grassroots level, ‘said Sadeque.
‘Among our other visionary targets, those we have set up, we will send three national teams - Senior, Under-21, and Under-18 – for higher international training. We will extend programmes for women’s hockey to confirm female team enters into the international stage. We will also run indoor hockey in the country,’ Sadeque said.
The opponent panel, led by Shaeed, pledged to ‘save the hockey’ and prepare Bangladesh team to play in the semi-final stage in the Asian Hockey 2025.
They also promised to help Bangladesh qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
The elections were originally scheduled on April 8, but the election commissioner postponed it following a High Court rule over a councillorship of Shishu Kishore Sangha representative Taraque A Adil.
Taraque A Adil was allowed to run in the elections as the appellate division on April 23 stayed an order issued by the High Court in this regard.
National Sports Council announced the revised elections schedule on April 11 and some 12 councillors from Shaeed-led panel withdrew their candidacy from several posts on April 16.
Following their withdrawals, there remained 56 candidates - including one independent vice-president candidate.
Shaeed-led panel gave 25 candidates, including 16 executive members, to run in the election while Sadeque-led panel gave 30 candidates with 21 executive member aspirants.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Miscellany