Bring them to justice

Nepal Police must arrest all the parties involved in the football match-fixing scam. Match-fixing in football is something not new and has been around for a while. Regrettably, it is spreading like cancer, growing and penetrating deep into football, by the day. The number of fixing cases is rising at an alarming rate, thus jeopardizing the integrity of the most popular and beautiful sport in the world. It has become a hot-button issue that is obviously a matter of grave concern for the football-playing world.

Illegal sports betting syndicates are widespread globally and have become a menace to sports. Other than football, it is prevalent in cricket and horse racing, probably on a much bigger scale than football.

In spite of FIFA and other sport bodies’ efforts to combat illegal gambling in sports, it has become endemic and continues to thrive. The lure of easy money motivates players to fall into the trap despite the very risk of getting caught.

Since match-fixing reared its ugly head, it has caused havoc on competitive football at all levels, derailing players, coaches, referees, officials and many more. Players, officials of clubs and football associations, especially in countries where they are grossly underpaid, are vulnerable and easy targets of betting syndicates.

The match-fixing   episode has damaged the credibility and integrity of Nepali football. Although arrests have been made in connection to this scandal, more suspects are still at large. By Nepal Police own account, there are more players and officials of ANFA/football clubs involved in the scam. They had shared the information with the press during a press conference. However, new arrests have not been made so far, which is disheartening.

If the police have evidences to back up their claim, the delay in arresting other potential suspects is difficult to comprehend. No time should have been wasted to round up the accused. Given the seriousness of the scandal, the police are duty bound by law to arrest all offenders on the loose and bring them to justice.

Understandably, the police are   under increasing pressure from the government and interest groups to go soft on the scandal. It is very important that the police maintain public trust, their integrity and not relent under pressure. Otherwise, to yield before such pressure would be unthinkable and disgraceful.