Ex-prez Thapa slams ANFA for publishing wrong information

KATHMANDU: Former President of All Nepal Football Association Ganesh Thapa today slammed the current leadership for using wrong information about the construction of the ANFA Complex in the ‘technical report and statistics’ of the Qatar Airways Martyrs Memorial A Division League.

The ANFA yesterday released the report which includes the statistics of the league along with profiles of the 14 participating teams and their performance in the top flight league. Apart from a couple of articles on Nepali football, the document has included reports from match commissioner, referee, medical, security committees along with the website visitors’ record.

Thapa accused the ANFA of using misleading information regarding the construction of the ANFA Complex. “The ANFA Complex was not built under the FIFA’s Goal Project, as mentioned in the report,” said Thapa in a Facebook post. “We built the ANFA complex — office building, hostel, grounds and a small parapet — from the savings of the matches held at the Dasharath Stadium,” Thapa claimed.

The ANFA wrote under the article entitled ‘ANFA — A Pride Of Our Own': “…the football association built ANFA Complex, a football stadium and a training facility situated in Lalitpur. The venue also houses the headquarters of ANFA built in 2000 under FIFA’s Goal Project.” The same line has been used again while describing the venues of the league. But Thapa said his team started the construction of the ANFA Complex in 1997-98 and he presented the report in the 2000 FIFA Congress.

“The FIFA had not even started the Goal Project when we began the construction of the facility. I still remember that the FIFA had lauded our efforts in this matter. It’s unfortunate that the ANFA leadership is trying to erase its own history,” said Thapa, who remained at the top post of the football governing body for almost two decades before being ousted by the FIFA on corruption charges in 2015. The ANFA later constructed three academies in Chyasal (Lalitpur), Butwal and Dharan under the FIFA Goal Project.

“I demand immediate correction in the report,” added Thapa, who has publicly challenged Sherpa of proving the corruption accusations made against him during the agitation period. The two are at loggerheads since Sherpa, who was vice-president under Thapa, walked out the ANFA citing differences with the leadership. Sherpa then ran a campaign to oust Thapa and was elected as the president two years ago.

Thapa also flayed President Karma Tsering Sherpa for claiming the record book as the first of its kind in South Asian region. “It’s more like a souvenir and such mementos were published before or after almost every tournament. It’s ridiculous on Sherpa’s part to claim it as the first of its kind in the region,” he added. “The ANFA should have also published the similar record book of the previous edition so that people would know about the non-relegation league,” said Thapa. The ANFA had organised the league without relegation provision for the first time in the history of the tournament two years ago.