ANFA refutes corruption charges

Kathmandu, January 18

The All Nepal Football Association refuted the accusation of corruption charges by the four district FAs but President Karma Tsering Sherpa said the allegations were serious and needed to be investigated.

“I listened to the audio tape made public by the four FA presidents and I found them to be tampered to fulfill their vested interest of destroying football,” said Sherpa. “My voice is not there in the audio tape and a couple of our executive committee members have simply answered to the questions of Honorary President Tashi Ghale, who was the chief of the publicity committee of our election campaign,” said Sherpa at a press meet. Sherpa said the voice clips of the officials in the audio tape and the text prepared by notary were also different.

The four FAs — Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Dhading — had accused the ANFA leadership of splashing cash to win the elections nine months ago apart from embezzling one million rupees during the two international events.

“All the accusations are baseless. They do not have any proof regarding any of the 14-point allegations raised by them and we will investigate into the matter and send the exact findings to the disciplinary committee for appropriate actions against them,” he added.

Sherpa said one of the reasons of the expulsion of Honorary President Ghale was the audio tape issue. “He should have organised the press meet by himself instead of making public the audio tape through the four FAs,” said Sherpa, who said Ghale was never approved as the Honorary President by ANFA General Assembly. “He was not the Honorary President as he did not attend the ANFA congress and the decision of the executive committee was not endorsed. We just decided to send him the letter from yesterday’s executive committee meeting,” added Sherpa.

Regarding the one million rupees received by ANFA staff from Hotel View Bhrikuti, Sherpa said the amount was withdrawn from the bank to pay kits sponsors Kelme. “We decided to pay cash to Kelme as it was the last day before Dashain holidays and they were in dire need of the money,” said Sherpa. “We have got all the documents regarding the payment.”

Asked about the Asian Football Confederation’s concerns over the issues, Sherpa said the Asian body just enquired about that after the agitating officials filed the complaint. “It’s natural. The AFC has sent us an email enquiring about the issues and we have until February 14 to answer them,” he said. Sherpa also said the ANFA had done nothing wrong regarding the distribution of the FIFA World Cup tickets. “We had signed contract with each individual who bought tickets from us and we don’t think there was anything wrong in this regard,” he added.

Meanwhile, the ANFA made public the achievements of its nine-month tenure and claimed it was on right track for the overall development of the sport. “We have done more than 45 activities since taking helm at the ANFA nine months ago and we have received support from stakeholders and also faced criticisms at times. We believe we are on right track to establish a system at the ANFA and we are forming eight departments and 17 standing committees for the smooth functioning of our activities across the country,” said Sherpa.