Thapa retains presidency, unopposed

LALITPUR:Ganesh Thapa has been elected unopposed as the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President for the fourth consecutive term after no one filed candidacy for the top post in the football governing body.

As the deadline expired at 5pm today, the election committee revealed Ganesh Thapa was the only one to file the candidacy for the top ANFA post. Likewise, the vice presidents were also elected unopposed as only eight nominations were filed till the deadline.

“We received only one nomination for the President’s post, while one of the nine candidates for the vice presidents withdrew his name yesterday,” said Rajaram Dhakal, one of the three members of the election committee. The former football international Mani Shah withdrew his name hours after registering on Friday.

Out of the eight vice presidents, only two — Bijay Narayan Manandhar (Annapurna RCT), who led the agitation against the ANFA, and Sunil Kapali (Machhindra Club) — are new faces.

Lalit Krishna Shrestha (ANFA), Narendra Shrestha, Mahesh Bista, Karma Chhering Sherpa, Kumar Jung Thapa and Kishor Rai — are the other vice presidents to be elected unopposed. Bista is the senior vice president, while Karma, Kishor, Kumar and Lalit are vice presidents and Narendra Shrestha the General Secretary in the current committee.

Meanwhile, the election committee also informed that a total of 36 candidates have filed their nominations for the post of 22 central executive committee members. The ANFA Congress is slated for September 7. As per the new provisions in the bylaws, the first executive committee meeting will nominate General Secretary, Treasurer and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dhirendra Pradhan, Birat Jung Shahi and

Indra Man Tuladhar are the front-runners for the posts.

The ANFA Academy players among other officials offered garlands to the president and the

vice presidents after the election committee published the final list of the candidates.

Thapa, who got the support from 56 voting members and was proposed by 10 other member associations, said that it was not an individual’s victory but

the victory of Nepali football in general. Thapa also said the new committee would come up with new plans and programmes at the ANFA Congress on September 7. “There are lots of challenges ahead of us. So many friends have supported us and we will not let them down,” he said.

Asked about the football activities that have been halted for three years, Thapa said his committee would work out for a national league, clubs, women’s football, infrastructure development.

“We have many things to do.

We have to organise league, work for the betterment of clubs in Kathmandu and outside the valley. We have to bring plans and programmes for women’s football,” he said.

Thapa also said the new committee would work out to build football grounds in hilly regions and establishing academies in far-western and mid-western regions.

Thapa said the Martyrs’ Memorial League would start after the Dashain festival. “We are committed to organise the league this year. If we fail to hold the league this year, we will have no moral grounds to stay at the ANFA,” he added.