Tuesday, July 16

Four more players speak up against chief coach Al Mutairi

By a Staff Reporter

Kathmandu – Four more footballers undergoing training for the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers have expressed displeasure over the behavior of chief coach Abdullah Al Mutairi. Nine players had quit training after the chief coach kicked Rohit Chand out of the team.

Nepal’s national football team’s captain Kiran Chemjong, who is currently outside the country, also expressed his concerns over the treatment of players by chief coach Al Mutairi in a Facebook post on Wednesday night.

The four more players to openly protest against the coach include midfielder Pujan Uparkoti, forward Darshan Gurung, midfielder Arik Bista and goalkeeper Deep Karki.

“I am dissatisfied with the treatment of players by the coach for raising genuine demands during the training of the national team,” all four players wrote their Facebook post.

It is believed that the other players have not made their views public as majority of them are affiliated to the departmental teams.

Nine players undergoing training for the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers 2023 had left the training camp on Tuesday expressing their displeasure over the behavior of the chief coach.

The alteration began after the chief coach ordered Rohit Chand, who has been leading the team in the absence of Chemjong, to leave the training. Following such instructions, other players raised the issue with the chief coach after which they were also told to leave the camp.

The nine senior players who left the training include Sujal Shrestha, Ananta Tamang, Bishal Rai, Bimal Ghartimagar, Dinesh Rajbanshi, Bishal Shrestha, Anjan Bista and Suman Lama.

The players have already informed the ANFA leadership about this issue. However, ANFA has not made any official remarks about the players leaving the training camp.

It has been learnt that the chief coach had an altercation with Chand after he raised some general issues related to the players’ training. He then ordered Chand to leave the training, which had a ripple effect as other players also followed suit.

Meanwhile, Captain Kiran Chemjong expressed his solidarity with the players by posting a Facebook status which read: “I am dissatisfied with the treatment of players by the chief coach of the national team. It is not right to force the national players to leave the training camp for raising genuine concerns. As the captain and a member of the national team, I am always in support of the players.”

ANFA President Karma Chiring Sherpa is said to take up the issue with the chief coach. Tensions between the chief coach and the players had flared up time and again but this is the first time that the issue has become public.

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