Thapa urges Rana to back off

KATHMANDU: All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) president Ganesh Thapa has urges his probable opponent Gita Rana not to enter the ANFA electoral fray .

“It is better for her to back off from the elections as there is no point registering candidacy for the ANFA President post,” said Thapa at an interaction programme here today. “She does not have moral grounds to participate in the elections. It would be a wise decision for her to and the football as a whole. She could earn some respect if she withdraws from the elections,” added Thapa, who claimed to have the support of 68 out of the 72 voting members in the September 7 congress.

“She should understand her position. She should know why none of the ANFA Congress members from Kathmandu did not support her. She should realise the reality and withdraw her intention,” Thapa told the journalists. He also asked Rana not to create any controversy.

Thapa said that there was no confusion in the newly-made ANFA bylaws, which has been ratified by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and National Sports Council (NSC). “It is her (Gita Rana) who has been trying to define it otherwise,” Thapa said. “It is clearly mentioned in the bylaws that the members in the congress are the associations not the individuals. And the individuals attending the congress are representatives,” he added.

According to Thapa, only 72 associations — 40 district FAs, 20 ‘A’ Division Clubs, five ‘B’ Division clubs, three ‘C’ Division clubs, a players’ association, coaches’ association, referees’ association and women’s associations — are the members of the congress and only these members can endorse the candidates. “The representatives are individuals nominated by these member associations,” he said. The congress will have a total of 229 individuals — 200 representatives from voting 72 members and 29 current ANFA executive committee officials.

Thapa also said the ANFA executive committee had the right to define the bylaws. “It is the ANFA executive committee who defines the bylaws and not some outsiders,” he added. As per the bylaws, ANFA has formed a three-member election committee. Advocate Keshav Bhattarai in the convener, while Sridhar Bhandari and Rajaram Dhakal are the members.

The members supporting and proposing a candidate should appear before the election committee in person to verify their signatures and seal. “As the president of the member associations are the authorised person, they require to appear before the election committee themselves,” said Thapa.

Regarding the statement given by Rana — who has said she would seek legal remedy — Thapa said the judiciary would verify before giving any verdict. “We have done nothing against the law,” said Thapa, who is running for the post of ANFA President for the fourth term in a row.

The September 7 ANFA congress will elect 31-member central executive committee — president, eight vice presidents and 22 members. According to the new provisions, the elected body will later nominate the General Secretary, Treasurer and the Chief Executive Officer.