Unfortunate if Sherpa wins at ANFA, says Thapa

Kathmandu, February 26

Former president of All Nepal Football Association Ganesh Thapa — who is serving 10-year ban from world football governing body, FIFA on corruption charges — said he had every right to speak about the upcoming elections of the All Nepal Football Association.

“I am a gold medallist player and FIFA has not stopped me from speaking about the sport. I am doing all to save Nepali football and will keep doing this until I die,” said Thapa reacting to a question raised by a journalist at a programme to announce the Nepal Sports Organisation.

“I want to save Nepali football as I am seeing what others cannot see. It would be unfortunate for Nepali football if Karma Tshiring Sherpa wins the elections. If he wins, ANFA will no longer remain a sports association, it will be like sister organisation of a political party,” said Thapa.

Thapa said he was surprised with the Sherpa-led panel’s slogan of Change ANFA. “I don’t understand what they want to change. I challenge them to build another ANFA Complex without the help of Nepal government, add Rs 10 million in the fixed deposit of Rs 80m which I had saved for football development; organise a bigger league tournament with more than Rs 10 million cash prize; and prepare a team that can beat India one more time,” said Thapa. “If they can do all these things, that would be the real change.”

Thapa also accused the Sherpa-led panel of creating unnecessary hoax of invisible force. “I have guts to speak on their faces and I don’t need to be invisible to talk about them. I know each and every person of that group and all of them were under me at different times. There is no single new face,” he added.

Thapa attacked Sherpa saying that he was the same person who apologised in the ANFA executive committee meeting for accusing me of wrongdoings. “I have got the audio clip which was sent to me by one of his current associates,” said Thapa, who challenged Sherpa to prove the allegations. “They have accused me of many things and I challenge them to prove them. I have put in more sweat and blood in football than Sherpa and I cannot be a mute spectator at a time when it is taking a wrong track,” said Thapa.