FIFA instructs ANFA to hold prez election

Kathmandu, May 10

The world football governing body, FIFA has instructed the All Nepal Football Association to hold the election for the post of president after reinstating the four dismissed officials through ordinary congress.

In a letter sent to General Secretary Dhirendra Pradhan on Monday, Acting Secretary General of FIFA Markus Kattner asked the ANFA to reinstate three vice-presidents Karma Chhiring Sherpa, Bijay Narayan Manandhar and Kishor Rai along with Member Pankaj Nembang  who were dismissed for not attending three consecutive executive committee meetings and going against the statute of the ANFA in the executive committee by May 23.

The ANFA on September 27 dismissed the four officials and nominated Narendra Shrestha as the senior Vice-president in place of Lalit Krishna Shrestha, who died in May, and promoted assistant General Secretaries Mani Kunwar and Bir Bahadur Khadka and Eastern Regional President Santosh Baniya as the vice-presidents.

“FIFA was thoroughly briefed by the Asian Football Confederation on the finding of the two mission to Nepal that took place on November 23, 24 last year and more recently on March 23, 24 this year,” said Kattner.

“We note with concern that ANFA has failed to hold its congress for two and half years, which is in the contradiction with the statute that stipulates an ordinary congress shall be held every year,” Kattner added in the letter.

“Furthermore the situation regarding three ANFA vice-presidents and one executive committee member, who were dismissed for allegedly missing three consecutive meetings.

It is now appraised that their dismissal was not done properly, given that some of the executive committee meetings that they allegedly missed were not formally convened,” the letter added.

The FIFA also directed the ANFA to hold the ordinary congress and elect the president. “Convene an ordinary congress of ANFA as soon as possible thereafter in line with statute.

The congress will have to elect the replacement for former ANFA President Ganesh Thapa, who has been suspended by the FIFA Ethics Committee from all football related activities for the period of 10 years effective from April 16, 2015,” the letter said.

“Finally, we would like to underline that at the ordinary congress all members of the ANFA must be allowed to raise any issue.

If these steps are not followed, FIFA and AFC have no choice to submit the issue to the appropriate FIFA bodies for further consideration which would possibly include the establishment of the normalisation committee.”

The FIFA instructions meant all the doors have been closed for Thapa to return to the ANFA even if he gets clean chit from Court of Arbitration for Sports.

Unlike in the case of UEFA president Michel Platini, who was suspended for six years over the $2 million payment he received from the FIFA, the world governing body ordered elections to replace disgraced Thapa, who has vowed to knock the CAS doors.

EUFA boss Platini quit from the post after the sports tribunal rejected his final appeal against his ban from football over a suspect $2.0 million payment he received from FIFA on Sunday.

CAS, however, reduced his suspension from six years to four, saying the penalty initially imposed by FIFA’s ethics committee was “too severe.” The ethics committee handed a ban of six years to Platini in the case of $2 million, while Thapa got a 10-year suspension in the case of $200,000.

Meanwhile, ANFA CEO Indraman Tuladhar said they would take formal decision only after the return of Acting President Narendra Shrestha, who is in Mexico to participate in the FIFA Congress along with General Secretary Dhirendra Pradhan and executive committee member Ramesh Rayamajhi.

“Our president will discuss the matter with the FIFA officials on the sidelines of the congress to find the best possible solution,” said Tuladhar in a statement. “We will find a solution in a legal way,” he added.

Shrestha has been at the helm of ANFA as its acting president since the suspension of Thapa in November last year.