6 July 2009 - In a dramatic turn around of football politics, Nepal Football Association (NFA) president Bijay Narayan Manandhar and general secretary Indra Man Tuladhar proposed All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) president Ganesh Thapa as the common candidate for the top post in the forthcoming elections.
The NFA, until an agreement was reached on December 7 last year, was leading the movement against Thapa. In the pretext of making the clubs more strong, the NFA wanted to depose Thapa from the ANFA accusing him of being an autocratic ruler. But the turn of the event on Monday surprised everybody. At a press conference at the ANFA Headquarters, Manandhar and Tuladhar presented Thapa as the only candidate for the post of ANFA president for the next four-year term.
“As we have reached to agreement to all the things with ANFA, we have decided to go to the elections as a team,” said Tuladhar, the joint-convenor of the League and Football Management Committee which was formed after the two sides reached an agreement on December 7, last year. “We have accepted the current leadership and we will go to the elections under his leadership,” he added. Manandhar reiterated Tuladhar’s views. “Now we are just looking forward to the elections. I propose Ganesh Thapa as the ANFA president candidate,” he added. He also said the NFA would be dissolved once the nominations process for the election was over.
ANFA boss Thapa said he felt honoured to be the common candidate. “This is the biggest award in my 50-year career as a player and administrator,” said Thapa, who is at the helm of ANFA for more than a decade now. Thapa said the ANFA and NFA would contest the elections as a full panel. “We are almost done in dividing the posts as per the capacities of the members in the ANFA and NFA and we will declare it before going to the elections,” he added.
A record of 42 officials — including the representatives from clubs, districts and other committees like players, coaches and women bodies — were seated at the dais and Thapa claimed 28 of them were the voters in his favour. It needs 37 votes to win the elections in simple majority from the 72-member congress.
Earlier, ANFA vice presidents Kumar Jung Thapa and Karma Chhiring Sherpa criticised former ANFA president Gita Rana, who has already announced her candidacy for the top post.
“She just needed a post when she was here in 2001. She has been away from football for about a decade now and she wants to contest the elections backed by her properties,” Kumar Jung Thapa accused.
Sherpa said her leadership would lead the sport nowhere. “We have seen her during her previous tenure. It would be unfortunate for the football if she comes here again,” said Sherpa.