By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu – The Prime Minister Three Nations Cup, to be organized by Nepal featuring Bhutan and Laos is kicking off today. But ANFA is yet to receive necessary work permit for Italian coach Vincenzo Alberto Annesse.
The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) last week penned down an agreement with Italian Annese as the head coach of the Nepal National Team. Annese, who attended a few matches of Martyr’s Memorial ‘A’ Division League picked up his 23 member squad. The squad was announced minutes before the pre match press conference.
Although ANFA signed an agreement with Annese as the head coach, he has not yet received his work permit and therefore is not legally allowed to work in Nepal. ANFA is working to obtain his work permit, but it is uncertain whether Annese will be able to lead Nepal’s team in the upcoming tournament or not.
“The Work Permit procedure is tougher than before. However, we are working tirelessly to complete it and even had a meeting with National Sports Council Member Secretary Tanka Lal Ghising until 7 PM yesterday to resolve the issue,” the Senior Vice President of ANFA and Tournament Coordinator Bir Bahadur Khadka stated on Monday.
“Member Secretary Ghising mentioned that the National Cricket Team Coach Monty Desai is also yet to receive his work permit, but he is working without any issues and advised us to go forward the same way. Ghising added ANFA can also go forward,” Khadka added, “Though we have passed the maximum stages, we are currently stuck in the final stage due to a shortage of time.”
The Work Permit issue arose earlier in the Martyr’s Memorial ‘A’ Division League as well when Top-division newcomers Church Boys United Football Club brought in Pradip Humagain as their “Head Coach” but later registered him in the league as the “Team Official”. Later, it was learned that ANFA itself suggest the club to enter him as a team official as Humagain didn’t obtain work permit.
“Pradip Humagain is not officially registered as a coach. The club has entered into an agreement with him to serve as a volunteer coach without any payment. As an NRN, he is not required to have a work permit to work without receiving any compensation,” said the League Director of ANFA Sanjib Mishra.
In response to queries about the consequences if Annese fails to obtain his work permit before the match, Misra hinted that ANFA’s intent is to allow him to serve as the Head Coach even without the work permit. “Annese was appointed by ANFA as the Head Coach, and he will continue to fulfill that role, regardless of whether or not the work permit process is completed.” Mishra clarified.
When asked again about whether ANFA would register Annese as a Team Official, similar to Humagain’s case, Mishra responded by saying, “We hope to obtain his work permit before the match. However, even if the work permit process is not completed by then, we will still allow him to serve as the Head Coach.”
In Nepal, non-citizens must have a valid work permit to work legally. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their foreign employees have the necessary permits to work in the country. However, in this case, the employer ANFA appears to be planning to violate Nepalese law by allowing Annese to work as the Head Coach without a work permit.
Mishra acknowledged that while there is a requirement for foreign nationals to have work permits to work in Nepal, there may be situations where flexibility is necessary. “It is true that there is a government rule for foreign nationals typically require a work permit to work in Nepal, but there may be certain situations where we need to be flexible and make compromises,” Mishra mentioned.
When questioned about the legality of ANFA’s approach, Mishra ran out of his words to respond, and Senior VP Khadka intervened, stating that they are taking the matter seriously. “We have been taking this matter seriously and have been working tirelessly to resolve it.” Khadka expressed hope that the issue would be resolved by Tuesday, but to no success.