Football players' national meet in capital (Players' association formed)

4 August 2009 - The first national meet of the former international, national and A, B and C division football players was held in the capital on Tuesday. The faction dissatisfied with the All Nepal Football Players´ Association (ANFPA) lead by former national player and the national coach Upendra Man Singh disapproved of the ad hoc committee´s convention, which allegedly was held within closed doors. They also came down heavily against the president of the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) Ganesh Thapa.

Speaking on the occasion, former national football player Narendra Man Singh claimed that the election for the coach, referee and players association was held within closed doors. He also criticized ANFA president Thapa for not being able to take football to new heights. Singh, the national football player during the 80s said, “Nepal´s FIFA ranking while we played was an impressive 146, while it has plunged down to 186 now.” Nepal´s present ranking is 173.

Kumar Thapa, former national player, claimed that they were unaware of the general assembly held recently. “Only those players close to Thapa were called for the assembly. We only came to know of it through the media. The ANFPA does not represent all the national players,” he maintained. Appointment of Singh as the president was unfair, he added.

“Instead of acting as an independent body of football players, the general assembly was held at the ANFA Complex upon instructions from Thapa. This is discriminatory.” He also questioned why the A division league was halted without any apparent reason.

Sunil Tuladhar, a former national player, opined that everyone who desired to play ought to be given a chance to play. He claimed that players generally quit playing football once they made it to the national level as they couldn´t make football a means to earn their living. “Playing football should be made a lucrative profession,” he said, adding, the practice of cutting salary while there were no matches should end. Instead, players should be given timely training and training allowances. The tournament and matches should be held at regular intervals. He also demanded that a sports university be established in addition to providing insurance to players.

Former international, national and A, B and C division football players first national meet held in the capital on Tuesday formed a 17-member Nepal Professional Football Players´ Association under the leadership of ex-national football player Kumar Thapa. The meet also selected the coordinator of nine districts. As per the decision to elect five vice presidents -- one each from five development regions -Sunil Tuladhar from Central, Sagar Bam from Far Western, Milan Shrestha from Eastern region were selected while the vice presidents from Western and Mid Western would be selected later after the discussion, states a press release. Arju Lama, Murari KC and Tulasa Singh are the general secretary, secretary and the treasurers of the committee respectively. Similarly, Kumar Raj Bhandari, Raju Pulami, Krishna Malakar, Ganesh Limbu, Paresh Sapkota, Raju Shrestha, Rajendra Thapa and Ranjita Rana are the members.

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