Bista appointed Member Secretary

KATHMANDU, June 25: The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) today appointed Keshav Kumar Bista as the Member Secretary of National Sports Council.

Hours after nominating Bista and two others as the Members from national associations’ quota, Minister Purushottam Paudel picked Bista as the boss of the sports governing body. Going against the tradition of appointing the Member Secretary from the cabinet, Paudel nominated Bista on his own.

“As per the Sports Development Act 1992, I have appointed you as the Member Secretary of National Sports Council with effect from June 25,” said Minister Paudel in the appointment letter. The Asian Games Preparation Working Committee formed by the MoYS — headed by Minister Paudel himself – had on October 18 last year suspended Bista for one year after he was found guilty of helping Sepak takraw player Aman Pode flee in South Korea during the 17th Asian Games. Bista was manager of Nepali Sepak takraw team in the Incheon Games. The committee had also asked the NSC to take further departmental action against the culprits.

The newly-appointed Member Secretary Bista assumed his office in the afternoon, albeit guarded by police and his personal aides. Bista, who is also the acting president of Nepal Sports Foundation, sister wing of CPN-UML, said he was looking forward to make his tenure at the NSC a golden one. “I am not a new face in sports as I am into it for many years,” said Bista. “I will act like a bridge for all the stakeholders of sports and I hope my tenure at the NSC will be a golden period.”

Asked about his involvement in helping a player flee in South Korea and the action taken by the ministry, Bista said he was not aware of all the issues. “Yes, I was the manager of the team in South Korea. It was a sad incident that a player (Aman Pode) stayed back in Korea. But I was never told that I have been penalised nor I got any letter from the ministry,” he said. The two other Members appointed are Rajendra Shrestha (Raju) of Nepal Swimming Association and Mohammed Samiullaha of All Nepal Football Association.

Bista said he would solve all the controversies surrounding the Nepali sports and work without any prejudice. “The major problem in Nepali sports is the controversies and unnecessary debates. We will end them and take it to next level. I am here to develop sports and there will be no discrimination during my tenure,” he added. “I am not going to change all the procedures overnight. I will give continuity to the good works started by previous office bearers.”

“We will work as a unit and it needs to be taken to positive direction as many people in the past have guided NSC to wrong direction,” he said. “We will sit together and prepare plans,” the 49-year-old Bista added. “Although I am affiliated to a political party, I will work towards the development of sports. I may have challenges to begin with but we will overcome them,” he said. Bista replaced Sakuntala Nagarkoti, the first female Member Secretary of the NSC, who was appointed on June 15.