Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football runners-up Dhaka Abahani Limited have surprisingly withdrawn from the ensuing Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup Football Tournament in the dying moment.
The 3rd version of the Sheikh Kamal International Football Tournament begins on Saturday (Oct 19) at the MA Aziz Stadium in the port city of Chattogram.
Dhaka Abahani Ltd in written informed it to the tournament committee on Wednesday, Abahani Team Manager Satyajit Das Rupu told UNB on Thursday.
Tournament organiser Shakil Mahmud Chowdhury said they are trying to include Gokulam Kerala FC of India in place of Dhaka Abahani Ltd.
Hosts Chattogram Abahani Limited will play defending champions TC Sports Club of the Maldives in the opening match which will kick off at 7pm on Saturday.
On the following day (Sunday), Kolkata Mohun Bagan Club will play Young Elephants FC of Laos also at 7pm at the same venue.
The two semifinals will be held on October 27 and 28 while the final match is scheduled for October 30.
Earlier, BPL champions Basundhara Kings and league runners-up Dhaka Abahani Limited have been placed in the four-team Group B with Chennaiyin FC of India and Terengganu FC of Malaysia.
The Group A team comprises of Mohun Bagan AC of India, TC Sports of the Maldives, Young Elephants FC of Laos and hosts Chattogram Abahani Ltd.
The grouping of the eight-team was held in a draw ceremony at Le Meridien Hotel here on Friday last.
The Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup, a biennial soccer event, was held twice in Chattogram in 2015 and 2017.
Chattogram Abahani Ltd emerged champions of the first edition of the tournament in 2015 beating East Bengal FC of India by 3-1 goals in the final while TC Sports Club of the Maldives emerged champions in the second edition in 2017 beating Pocheon Citizen FC of South Korea by 4-2 goals
Chattogram Abahani Ltd organises the tournament on regular basis in memory of Sheikh Kamal, the eldest son of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Each team will get US$ 10,000 as participation money while the champions will be awarded US$ 50,000 and the runners-up US$ 25,000.