Bista vows to clean up sports dirt


Newly-appointed Member Secretary of National Sports Council Keshav Kumar Bista today vowed to clean up controversies in sports fraternity but was at a fault line when it came to the case of Nepal Olympic Committee.

At a press conference organised for the first time since his controversial appointment by the Youth and Sports Minister Purushottam Paudel last Thursday, Bista said he would follow the previous verdict of Supreme Court and complete his four-year tenure at the NSC even if there was a change of guard in the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

But when asked about the NOC, Bista said he would coordinate with the internationally-recognised body — which has been invalidated by the apex court — to ensure Nepal’s participation in international events. “The Supreme Court has already paved way to complete the tenure and as a citizen of this country I am obliged to follow the law of the land,” said Bista when asked about his status if there was a change of guard at the MoYS.

In another query related to the NOC, Bista said: “We will coordinate with the internationally-recognised body to send athletes international participation.” Bista fell flat when he was reminded that the internationally-recognised NOC, led by Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, was termed illegal by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ordered the government to coordinate with the NOC led by Rukma Shumsher Rana, which does not have international recognition and cannot ensure Nepal’s international participation.

Former member secretaries tried their hands to resolve the issue but were forced to return empty handed as the IOC does not allow government interference. Former Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama was at loggerhead with the NOC following the Supreme Court’s order but he too played it safe asking the national associations to coordinate on their own ahead of the 17th Asian Games held in South Korea last year. Bista said he would look into the matter thoroughly and try to end the controversy. “Not only NOC, there are controversies in whole sports fraternity and we are here to clean up. Nepali sports should be free of controversies and we know the tricks to make it clean,” Bista added.

Bista said the seventh National Games, who was originally scheduled to be held two years ago, would be held in February-March in Eastern Region, while the NSC would soon start training for the for the 12th South Asian Games, after consulting with the national associations. He also vowed to begin the construction of the Gauritar Academy, where the then Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal laid foundation stone in 2009. Bista said the NSC would start the process of life insurance for the national players and appoint a volunteer coach each in all the 240 constituencies.