Arambagh, Brothers reel from online betting charge

Wahid Ullah Bakul | Published: 23:24, Feb 22,2021


Arambagh Krira Sangha and Brothers Union officials claimed to be taken by surprise by the Asian Football Confederation’s allegations against them about their hand in online betting, saying they had no idea about such malpractices were taking place in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Bangladesh Football Federation were asked by the AFC to investigate on the two clubs after the confederation marked five matches in the running league as suspicious, all of which involved either of the two sides.

Arambagh’s matches against Mohammedan Sporting Club, Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra and Abahani Limited held respectively on January 17, February 9 and 13 and Brothers’ games against Abahani and Bashundhara Kings held respectively on January 19 and 23 were put into question.

The BFF by Monday asked Arambagh thrice and Brothers twice to explain their positions on the allegation.

Both Arambagh and Brothers responded the same way as they asked BFF to make specific allegation on a player or a club official and punish the culprit.

‘Actually, we have no idea about online betting. We don’t even have any information about fixing in the league. So we requested the BFF to make the allegation more specific and punish if anyone is found guilty,’ Arambagh’s general secretary Mohammad Yakub said.

However, Yakub said that the club officials and players felt that their match against Abahani was suspicious.

‘We got hints. When I asked the players about the 4-0 loss against Abahani some players told us that there was something wrong, alleging that all players did not perform to their best,’ Yakub said.

When asked if he suspected anyone from his club, Yakub replied, ‘I don’t suspect anyone. But the two Indian agents Azizul and Maidul were the outsiders in the club along with our recently resigned India coach Subrata Bhattacharya.’

Brother’s club manager Amer Khan said, ‘If it has happened, then the guilty must be punished. We told the BFF that we will help them in this investigation. For the greater sake of the country’s football, the perpetrators need to be unmasked.’

Amer also pointed finger towards the referees, as he thinks the number of dubious decisions in the league is suspicious.

‘I have noticed that only the referees are doing microphone monitoring during the league matches, which is not normal. And the controversial decisions they are giving in every match also draws some suspicion,’ he said.

Amer also urged the federation to hand out severe punishment if anyone is found guilty and according to BFF head of competitions Zaber Bin Taher Ansari that could be a life-time ban from the domestic football scene of the country.

‘The highest punishment BFF could hand out is a lifetime ban on the culprit from domestic football and AFC can ban them from all football in the Asian level.’

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