Sunday, April 21

Gaurav clarifies: “I did not pressurize ANFA, they came up to me with proposal”

By a Staff Reporter

Gaurav Thapa, who got into the controversy before the All Nepal Football Association’s (ANFA) second Executive Committee has given his opinion on the appointment dispute.

The second ANFA Exco meeting which was rescheduled for July 21, 2022 was halted due to increasing bitterness between the members of the ANFA exco regarding the appointment of certain posts. Initially, the meeting was scheduled to take place on July 18, but it was postponed following the health issues of President Nembang. The second ANFA Exco meeting was stopped without entering into the agenda as some ANFA office bearers started a dispute demanding the dismissal of Nabin Pande who was appointed as the Head of International Relations from its fist Exco Meeting. As a result, ANFA President Nembang decided to call off the meeting.  

The discussion regarding the appointment of Thapa was sure to take place in the ANFA exco meeting. The office-bearers have been giving their opinion publically on whether to appoint Thapa or not before commencement of the meeting. Meanwhile, Gaurav himself has also made his statement public regarding the controversy. 

Gaurav is the eldest son of former ANFA president Ganesh Thapa, who is under a 10-year ban by FIFA. Gaurav is also a former employee of ANFA. He has experience of working in FIFA, AFC, Olympics. He has stated that some people tried to create chaos using his name. He also stated that he did not put any pressure on his appointment in ANFA. He added that he received the proposal from the president and general secretary of ANFA.

Thapa’s statement: 

Whilst it is very unfortunate that I have to keep clarifying issues directly on social media, there are absolutely no means left as they keep publicly putting out false information to fool people.
In recent days I’ve seen some very damaging information saying that FIFA & AFC would have issues if I were to be appointed. This is absolutely false and very manipulative. The current President and General Secretary have in this last month repeatedly contacted FIFA and AFC to clarify this. Both of them have been clearly informed that there are absolutely no issues. The General Secretary specially has been informed via phone, messages and even in person. He held talks with various AFC officials during his trip to Bangladesh for SAFF meeting as well, where he was clearly informed that there were no issues.
FYI – I had already worked at ANFA on and off from 2013-2018, most recently as the Head of International Relations under the presidency of Mr. Narendra Shrestha in 2017. I also worked as the FIFA and AFC Match Commissioner during this time. I also completed the AFC Football Administration Certificate Course, which is conducted by AFC specifically designed for individuals for future senior Management roles at Member Associations. It has to be noted that the current President and General Secretary were the Executive Committee Member and Deputy General Secretary respectively during this time. So they have seen first hand that there are absolutely no issues. I would just like to highlight one instance out of countless others from my last stint at ANFA: the visit of AFC President & AFC General Secretary in 2017 where I was the head of International Relations and attended all the meetings together with AFC and ANFA Delegations.
Further, I was still the Head of International Relations when Mr. Karma Tsering Sherpa won his elections in 2018. However, understanding the uncomfortable situation it could possibly cause to some of the new officials, I had sent my resignation 1 day after the elections to ensure smooth transfer for the new management. This is despite the overwhelming support and request for me to stay.
Were there any issues back then or are they now trying to create unnecessary issues to suit their malicious agenda? There is absolutely no logic or truth to this narrative and I would obviously not want any part at ANFA should FIFA or AFC have any issues with it. I have never asked or forced anyone to be considered for a post at ANFA. It was the current General Secretary who proposed my name to assist him. I have also held several meetings with the President, Executive Committee Members and General Secretary who have also confirmed there are absolutely no issues whatsoever.
It is very troubling that despite there being absolutely no issues at FIFA, AFC & ANFA there are still some individuals providing false information to selected media outlets to create chaos in Nepali Football. I was and always will be ready to serve Nepali Football if and when required and never have I ever wanted to be involved in such petty politics. To lie and falsify information directly received from FIFA and AFC and hold Nepali Football hostage is regrettable and unacceptable.
There are several serious challenges that ANFA are facing currently that have to be resolved urgently and I sincerely believe I am not one of them. Therefore, I request the President and General Secretary to not indulge and waste time and precious ANFA resources in such trivial issues and focus on really pressing issues that is holding Nepali Football back.

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