No Signs of Positive Change For The Gorkhalis


At the moment, I have nothing much to write about Nepal football, which may make fans happy, excited and optimistic. The sad part is, the scenario remains murky, uncertain and questionable, and there is no indication that will change anytime soon.

I do not need to go into detail to explain the situation that is going from bad to worse with every passing day. Football enthusiasts are sick and tired over the way ANFA is being run. The readers are smart and intelligent enough to know that what ails football in Nepal and who is to blame for it.

I cannot help but repeat myself. Therefore, excuse me for being repetitive. No one would dispute the fact that Nepal Football conundrum continues unabated. That is what it is. For well over two decades, All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) headed by Mr. Ganesh Thapa has been all about rampant corruption, maladministration, mismanagement and non-transparency. They have totally failed to deliver when it comes to overall football development and results.

Nepal football
Ganesh Thapa with Mohamed Bin Hammam

The biggest problem facing Nepal football, today, is the disastrous, dictatorial leadership of Mr. Thapa. He has done more harm than good to football. He will never change his arrogant demeanor. If you still believe in him, you are far from reality and you may be living in a delusion.

The national team’s world rankings is in a free fall, grass roots level football is in shambles, and infrastructure is almost non-existent, although money continues to flow into ANFA from FIFA, AFC, sponsors and the government. When ANFA demands more funds from the government it makes no sense. Why should the government fund the football body that has the reputation of misusing and misappropriating funds.

All in all, it is business as usual at ANFA. The controversial ANFA chief is back in office after completing seven months suspension over his alleged involvement in corruption scandal. FIFA Ethics Committee’s re-investigation into Mr.Thapa’s corruption charges is turning into a sham. Almost eleven months have gone by, but they are yet to release its findings. But for all the national and international publicity the case has received, FIFA has virtually remained tight-lipped. All they say is the case is still pending. To make matters worse, they have unethically allowed the corruption-tainted Mr. Thapa resume his office responsibilities. What a joke this entire thing has been so far. In short, FIFA’s re-investigation of Mr. Thapa is nothing short of a total farce. Battered by corruption scandal and arrest of high-ranking officials, FIFA’s credibility is at an all time low.

FIFA’s failure to take prompt and immediate action against football association chief like Mr. Thapa under investigation for corruption is proving devastating to the stability of Nepali football. Not only a huge disappointment but also further calls FIFA’s intention, honesty and integrity into question.

Furthermore, our toothless government is reluctant to crackdown on corruption that has deeply taken root. Not surprisingly, Mr. Thapa is back to his old ways. With clear intentions to solidify his shaky, insecure position and protect his fiefdom, he is on the prowl, already.

This has led to a flurry of activities on part of the football body. Of the four clubs banned by ANFA, the ban has been lifted on Saraswati FC and Machhindra FC, however, the ban on Himalayan Sherpa Club and Friends Club remains intact. Should the clubs bury the hatchet and join hands with ANFA that is destroying football, they are making a grave mistake.

The appointment of Dhruba Bahadur KC, incidentally, brother-in-law of ANFA boss as head coach of the national team, has raised many eyebrows. This is a golden opportunity for players, clubs and coaches to unite against Mr. Thapa led ANFA and save Nepali football from oblivion. Otherwise, football will continue its downward spiral.

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