Final round Fed Cup starts today

August 6, 2008

Sports Correspondent.

The final round of the Citycell Federation Cup football tournament begins today with defending champion Dhaka Abahani Limited facing off Jatrabari Krira Chakra in the inaugural match (5:00 pm) at Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) in the city.

Chittagong Mohammedan and Chittagong Abahani are also facing each other in the other match of the opening day (7:00 pm).

Dhaka Abahani has been drawn in Group B along with Chittagong Mohammedan, Chittagong Abahani and Jatrabari Krira Chakra for the final round of the season opening football competition. Placed in Group D, Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting Club is playing with Arambagh Krira Sangha, Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society and Sunrise Sporting Club in the group fixtures.

Sixteen teams are taking part in the final round of the Federation Cup, organised by Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) under the sponsorship of Citycell, a leading mobile phone operating company of the country. All final round matches will be played at BNS.

The participating teams are split into four groups for the group competitions of the final round with top two teams from each group making it to the quarterfinals. The final of the competition is slated for August 28.

Group A comprises Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra, Farashganj Sporting Club, Khulna Abahani and Dhaka Wanderers Club, while Group C consists of Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra, Brothers Union, Victoria Sporting Club and Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishthan (BKSP).

The 11 B. League teams are playing directly in the final round, while the other five teams — Jatrabari Krira Chakra, BKSP, Dhaka Wanderers Club, Victoria Sporting Club and Sunrise Sporting Club – qualified for the final round out of other 11 contestants. Eleven teams are split into three groups for the preliminary round competitions, which took place at Bangladesh Army Stadium and Gazipur Stadium with the only opening match being held at BNS.

This is for the first time BFF has taken the Federation Cup outside Dhaka in a bid to expand the game across the country and to relive some pressure on BNS, the main football venue of the country.

BFF President Kazi Salahuddin expressed his satisfaction with the turn up at Gazipur Stadium. “Our initial objective gained success. I am satisfied with the fans turn up. The other districts which have stadiums are also showed their interests to host the football matches,” Salahuddin told The Bangladesh Today.

The months of July and August have always been rainy in Bangladesh and the football ground of the BNS becomes unplayable due to heavy rainfall. “We took the qualifying round competitions outside Dhaka to give the BNS some respite from the load of excessive matches, the former Bangladesh international added.

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