Football crisis over as NFA, ANFA reach agreeement

Kathmandu, December 7:

After two years of uncertainty, Nepali football now looks certain to take a rightful course as the two warring parties — All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) and Nepal Football Association (NFA) — agreed to resolve their differences today.

The stalemate in the Nepali football is believed to over after the associations reached a seven-point agreement in a meeting mediated by the National Sports Council (NSC) in the presence of Minister for Youth and Sports Gopal Shakya.

Basically the two associations have agreed to draft a revised ANFA by-laws, hold elections by mid-September and hold tournaments, including the ‘A’ Division League.

Only ANFA, the internationally recognised body, would come into existence after the elections. The FAs agreed to hold the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League by mid-April.

Speaking after the meeting, ANFA president Ganesh Thapa said that the crisis was over after the “emotional unification” of the two associations. “The stalemate is over after we agreed to address NFA’s basic demands,” said Thapa.

Among the NFA’s demands were to provide respectful rights to the clubs, transparency in tournament organisation and revision of ANFA by-laws. “It is sad that it took so long

to resolve the differences despite earnest efforts from various sectors but I believe that we will not come across similar crisis in future,” added the ANFA president.

The NFA president Bijay Narayan Manandhar said that the crisis was finally over. “We came to agreement as all our demands were addressed properly,” said Manandhar. “I can assure that there will be no problems in coming days,” added the NFA president.

Minister for Youth and Sports Gopal Shayka expressed delight over the latest turn of the event. “I hope Nepali football will not witness the same problem in future,” said Shakya.

President Ganesh Thapa, Vice-presidents Lalit Krishna Shrestha and Kumar Jung Thapa represented ANFA while President Bijay Narayan Manandhar, vice-president Krishna Bhakta Manandhar and General Secretary Indra Man Tuladhar represented NFA in the meeting held at the ministry. The NSC had entrusted its members Purendra Lakhe, Laxman Shrestha and treasurer Ajar Manandhar to mediate the talks between the two FAs. The three NSC members along with the NSC member secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha were also present in the meeting.

The football crisis started some two years earlier when several Kathmandu-based clubs fell out of ANFA seeking football governing body for committing grave irregularities. In course of their fight against the ANFA, the clubs formed NFA in June, thanks to the NSC who recognised the parallel body. The football row also hampered the ‘A’ Division League as ANFA failed to organise the league after several clubs took sides with NFA.

In September ANFA organised Martyrs Memorial ‘B’ Division League and promoted four clubs to upper division. The NFA is currently holding the ‘B’ Division League of its own and will promote four clubs.

Seven-point agreement:

• Formation of ANFA By-Laws Drafting Committee under the convenorship of NFA representative. ANFA representative will be the joint convenor in the committee.

• Formation of a Tournament Organising Committee under the convenorship of ANFA representative. NFA representative will be the joint convenor of

the committee.

• Both the committees will have equal number of members from ANFA and NFA. Both the FA Presidents need to rectify the committees.

• Holding ANFA elections by mid-September 2009.

• NSC to mediate in case of any misunderstandings.

• Formation of the committees within the next 10 days.

• Preparation of By-Laws

draft within 45 days

after the formation of the