FIFA, AFC playing game through NSC member secretary, says Rana

FIFA, AFC playing game through NSC member secretary, says RanaObermann hands over 500 footballs to NSCWords: 758

Himalayan News ServiceKathmandu, April 11

The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have turned member secretary of the National Sports Council (NSC) Binod Shankar Palikhe into a football and are playing a financial game in Nepal, said ANFA president Gita Rana, in a hurriedly called press meet here on Thursday. The meeting was called following the cancellation of the scheduled one-day Football Coaching Workshop due to the absence of instructor Holger Obermann, a representative of the German National Olympic Committee (NOC).Obermann was scheduled to conduct a one-day training programme and handover 500 footballs to the ANFA promised during his previous visit. But apparently gave away the same to the NSC in a separate programme. “All this drama is being staged by some officials of FIFA and AFC on the eve of FIFA election,” said Rana. “They are afraid of us, as we have been organising football activities despite their economic blockade.” Rana also alleged FIFA and AFC for their FIFA Goal Project, which was announced last week by Thapa-led ANFA. “There is nothing like a FIFA goal project for Nepal, and all these are propaganda let loose by FIFA to get the vote of Nepal in the forthcoming FIFA election,” said Rana adding, “Nepal is not listed in FIFA.”“Ganesh Thapa and Holger Obermann are not my problems,” said Rana adding, “The member secretary is being used and he should understand that the FIFA and AFC don’t want the sport to be developed in Nepal.” “All came to know during the Nepal-Korea friendly matches that there is only one committee of ANFA in Nepal, as Thapa group organised the friendly matches under the name of National Former Football Players’ Association.” “Holger Obermann is a foreigner and he was threatened by the member secretary not to hand over the balls to the ANFA,” said Rana adding, “That is the only reason behind the drama.”The Council—in a letter dated February 4—has banned Rana to work as president of the ANFA until she excuses herself for her disruptive behaviour. Rana, in her previous letter had asked the Council about the cause of providing the Dasharath Stadium to a local club instead of ANFA for organising the Tribhuvan Challenge Shield, ANFA’s annual programme.“Although being the elected president, I accepted the decisions of the NSC, and have been supporting my colleagues from behind the curtain,” said Rana. “And today NSC is in a mission to interrupt our activities and threatened Obermann,” she added. “We won’t let this continue and take all possible measures to retain our rights.”In a separate programme organised by the NSC, Holger Obermann handed over the balls to Binod Shankar Palikhe. “The balls are to be distributed to all the 12 A Divisions Clubs and two departmental clubs, Tribhuvan Club of Royal Nepal Army and Nepal Police Club.“We are always ready to help Nepal towards the development of football,” said Obermann. Asked about not attending the scheduled programme, Obermann said: “I came to know that Rana was banned by the president of ANFA the previous day, and decided to hand over the balls to the NSC as it was the ruling body of all sports associations.”“Some clubs are under Rana and some under Thapa, so I handed over the balls to the council and it will distribute to all the 14 clubs,” said Obermann adding, “I may be wrong but I hope the ANFA controversy will be resolved very soon and ANFA will be bigger soon.”Member Secretary Palikhe, thanking Obermann and the German government for helping develop sports in Nepal requested the German government to resume the scholarship programme for Nepali footballers that has been stopped for the time being.Regarding the controversy, Palikhe said that to resolve the problem all should come to the NSC. “I don’t see any problem from the government’s side,” said Palikeh adding, “The government only wants all sports associations, including ANFA to follow the rules and regulations.”