AFC suspends Nepali footballers for match-fixing, writes to FIFA for worldwide ban on them

KATHMANDU: Asian Football Confederation said on Monday that the Chairman of its Disciplinary Committee has provisionally suspended the five Nepali individuals linked to match-fixing.

National team captain Sagar Thapa, vice-captain Sandip Rai, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa, former defender Bikash Singh Chhetri, and former defender and coach Anjan KC were arrested last week on match-fixing charges in international games that Nepal played.

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) on October 15 suspended the accused from all football-related activities until the investigation concluded.

The current investigation is still ongoing and the AFC may extend the suspensions for a further 20 days, the AFC said in a statement.

The AFC added that it has today written to FIFA asking for the bans to be imposed worldwide.

“The arrests show that the AFC’s action against match-fixing is bringing results," AFC Acting General Secretary Dato' Windsor John said, "Match-manipulation is a serious threat to the development of the game in Asia and the AFC has a zero tolerance policy towards match-fixing and anyone involved in it.”

The intelligence gathered is based on a year-long investigation, working jointly with Sportradar and the Nepal Police, according to AFC.

The AFC’s three-point strategy against match-fixing includes the provision of integrity training to players, team officials and match officials in all AFC competitions. All major AFC competitions are monitored, including this year’s AFC Asian Cup 2015, where zero cases of suspected match-fixing were identified.