Kathmandu, September 8:

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) is firm on its scheduled programme of holding the Martyrs Memorial ‘B’ Division League despite the National Sports Council’s fresh directives to postpone the league.

The country’s supreme sports ruling body today issued directives to postpone the league for 15 days and prepare the environment of talks to solve the existing dispute in football. The NSC has also warned the ANFA to be prepared for the legal action failing to comply their directives.

“The NSC has been trying hard to find out the permanent way out and the ‘B’ Division league without prior permission will make the issue complex,” the NSC stated in a release issued by Publicity Department convenor Bhimsen Rajbahak. “We had given the permission of holding the ‘C’ Division League and instructed the ANFA to stop the ‘B’ Division League until further notice. We are concerned with this act of ANFA and if they do not follow our instructions, we will have no option other than taking legal action,” the statement added.

The root cause of the controversy, however, is the NSC itself. It not only dissolved the elected ANFA committee, but also registered the Nepal Football Association (NFA) as the parallel body. The NSC then asked both the committees to organise football tournaments as per their calendar and now the same body is trying hard to stop one association’s programmes.

On the other hand, ANFA is in no mood of postponing the event. “We have completed all the preparations and we will go as per the schedules,” ANFA vice president and Spokesperson Lalit Krishna Shrestha told THT. “We have not received any formal directives from the NSC and we are not in the position to stop or postpone the tournament as we cannot convince the clubs at this point of time,” he added.

“We are determined to go as per our programme,” said Shrestha. “If NSC really wants to solve the problem, we are ready for dialogue any time. We will not stop or postpone the league as dialogues can be held on the sidelines,” he clarified.

Asked about the threaten issued by the NSC of legal action, Shrestha said ANFA was ready to go to jail if convicted for organising a tournament. “What would they do? Take us to jail? If organising a football tournament is against the law, we are ready to face any action,” said Shrestha.