Kathmandu, November 16
The Ethics Committee of the Federation of International Football Associations today banned the All Nepal Football Association President Ganesh Thapa for 10 years and slapped a fine of 20,000 Swiss francs ($19,850).
“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee chaired by Hans Joachim Eckert has banned Thapa for 10 years from all football activities at both national and international levels,” said FIFA on its website.
FIFA said the decisions were taken based on investigations carried out by the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee under the chairmanship of Dr Cornel Borbely.
According to FIFA, Thapa committed various acts of misconduct over several years, including the solicitation and acceptance of cash payments from another football official, for both personal and family gain in the context of the 2009 and 2011 elections for the FIFA Executive Committee at the Asian Football Confederation congress.
“Specifically, Thapa was found guilty of infringing Article 13 (general rules of conduct), Article 15 (loyalty), Article 18 (duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), Article 19 (conflicts of interest), Article 20 (offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) and Article 21 (bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” said the FIFA.
Thapa said the decisions were not fair. “I spent 35 years for Nepali football. Whatever I did in all these years, right or wrong, it’s there,” he said. “I fully cooperated with the Ethics Committee during the investigation for the last four years and I am disappointed with the outcome,” Thapa said.
“I will ask the FIFA to send me the full text of the decision and I have the right to appeal at the FIFA,” added Thapa. “After the decision of the appeal, I will go to Court of Arbitration, if needed, to prove my innocence,” added Thapa, who is also a member of Parliament from RPP-Nepal. Thapa also stayed away from football twice, for 90 days and 120 days, to cooperate in the Ethics Committee probe.
The Ethics Committee decision came in the wake of match-fixing scandal as five players have been facing treason charges at the Special Court.
National team skipper Sagar Thapa, vice-captain Sandeep Rai, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa and former defenders Bikash Singh Chhetry and Anjan KC all suspended by the ANFA until final verdict have been accused of match-fixing in international tournaments and taking hefty amounts in return.
Also, the U-16 team was disqualified from the AFC U-16 Championship for fielding over-age players in the qualifiers last month.
Meanwhile, the FIFA Ethics Committee also banned Laos Football Federation President Viphet Sihachakr for two years and slapped a fine of 40,000 Swiss Franc.
The sanctions take effect today itself, FIFA stated.
A version of this article appears in print on November 17, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.