NSC opts for normalisation committee

Kathmandu, March 24

The National Sports Council today urged the Asian Football Confederation to form a normalisation committee to end the long-standing controversy in Nepali football.

A day after meeting the All Nepal Football Association executive committee officials and the agitating group in separate meetings, AFC Director of Member Associations and International Relations Sanjeevan Balasingam and International Relations Officer Purushottam Kattel met with NSC member secretary Bista this afternoon.

“They were here to assess the current situation as they are well aware of the controversies in Nepali football,” Bista said after the meeting. “Based on the report submitted by the investigation committee formed to find out the facts, I suggested the AFC officials of going ahead with a committee headed by a neutral individual who is acceptable to all the parties,” said Bista. “We are ready to form such committee which will resolve all the issues and hold fresh elections in the district FAs before choosing the central committee within six months,” he added. “Holding the AGM alone will not bring change in ANFA as the same old officials will be attending the meeting,” he opined. “We need a complete new set-up if we want to develop football.”

Bista said the nomination of vice-presidents and members in the ANFA after expulsion of four agitating officials was against the ANFA statute. “The investigation committee has found that expelling the agitating officials from the ANFA and the nomination of officials in their posts are not as per the ANFA statute and that should be overturned,” he said. The ANFA executive committee ousted vice-presidents Karma Chhiring Sherpa, Bijay Narayan Manandar and Kishor Rai along with member Pankaj Nembang for not attending three consecutive meetings.

Bista said he also complained the AFC officials about ANFA’s working ways. “I told them that the ANFA office bearers do not listen to us and have been doing whatever they want,” he said. “They have not followed FIFA ethics committee decisions and ignored our instructions regarding the General Assembly of FIFA and controversial friendly match against Malaysia. Without consulting us, the ANFA executive committee took a decision regarding the vote in FIFA elections and they also unilaterally decided about the Malaysia friendly,” he said.

Bista said he also asked the AFC officials to help in reconstructing the Dasharath Stadium. “We are hosting the 13th South Asian Games in two years and the government is not in position to spend huge amount of money to construct a stadium. So I asked them to request the FIFA to help in reconstruction works of the stadium,” he said. “The AFC officials are positive about our proposals and we are hopeful of getting a way out soon.” The AFC officials, who left for Malaysia today, did not talk to media.

On Wednesday, the AFC officials met with ANFA executive committee office bearers and the agitating group. In the meeting with ANFA officials, they mainly focused on finding the way out, AGM and the statute amendment, while they hinted at forming the normalisation committee if the controversy was not resolved at the earliest. Nepali football has been dogged by controversies off late. ANFA President Ganesh Thapa has been suspended for 10 years by the FIFA on corruption charges, while five footballers have been facing treason charge at the Special Court for their involvement in match fixing. Narendra Shrestha — nominated in place of Lalit Krishna Shrestha who died of electrocution — has been leading ANFA as the acting president following the suspension of Thapa in November last year.