Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim throws the ball during a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday. (BCB photo)
DHAKA, Aug. 19, 2020: Sports in Bangladesh is waking up from its five-month long hibernation at a sloth pace with only two federations resuming on-field activities since getting the green light from the ministry of youth and sports on August 10.
On March 16, the ministry had instructed all sporting bodies of the country, with the exemption of archery, who were holding a camp to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, to stop their activities to curb the outbreak of COVID-19.
The archery camp also got suspended on March 24, promptly after the Olympics got deferred for a year, which started the biggest barren period of sports in Bangladesh in recent memory.
Bangladesh Cricket Board ended the sports-less phase in July by giving its players the chance to practice in its facilities individually, but didn’t take any step to resume Dhaka Premier League, which has been postponed since March 16.
Bangladesh Football Federation had planned to host a camp for its players this month for the 2023 FIFA World Cup and 2022 Asian Cup Qualifiers but with rampant COVID-19 detections among the players and FIFA-AFC’s decision to postpone the Qualifiers forced BFF to disband the camp on August 12.
Things were expected to speed up once the sports ministry sent a letter to all the federations, allowing them to restart their activities while following the prescribed safety practices.
But so far, only Bangladesh Hockey Federation and Bangladesh Archery Federation have called up their players’ for a camp.
BHF began its month-long fitness camp of the Under-21 team from August 13 at the BAF Shaheen College ground in the capital.
A total of 18 of the called up 20 players joined the camp, as the other two players were tested positive for COVID-19 and were now in isolation, said BHF acting general secretary Mohammad Yousuf.
‘We found two players COVID-19 positive. They are now in isolation and the rest of 18 have began fitness camp from August 13 as we got permission early,’ Yousuf informed.
Meanwhile, country’s premier archer Ruman Shana and seven other archers joined the archery camp at the Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Master Stadium in Tongi and gave their sample for COVID-19 tests on August 17.
All eight archers gave their sample for COVID-19 tests at the Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital and the results came on August 18 and all were found negative.
The archers will train under the German coach Martin Frederick and all coaches and support staff will also be tested for COVID-19.
Bangladesh Gymnastics Federation was planning to start a camp next week but was yet to specify a date while the wrestling federation decided to arrange a service teams tournament in late September or early October.
Some other organisations like athletics, weightlifting, taekwondo, chess and fencing federations were still active only on virtual platform, organising online competitions and training courses for its coaches and players.
Swimming, badminton, volleyball, basketball and table tennis federations wanted to observe the situation for a few more days before taking any decision, informed theirs officials.
Tennis federation ad-hoc committee general secretary Masood Karim, who is also the National Sports Council secretary, informed that they will soon sit to take a decision about resuming activities.
Boxing, cycling and wushu federations also wanted to hold discussions soon while the handball federation had made no such plans.
Bangladesh Shooting Sports Federation can’t take any decision to resume its activities after NSC on August 9 barred them from making any executive decision following the conflict between the federation president Nazimuddin Chowdhury and the secretary-general Enthekhabul Hamid who raised several allegations against each other. (Text & Picture: New Age)