MMC concerned over referee decision and threatens to quit

KATHMANDU, July 5: Expressing dissatisfaction with the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) and referee decision, Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) President Tashi Ghale has threatened to pull out of National League (super-eight round) and also quit playing professional football.

Ghale who appeared aggressive in the post-match conference after the draw blamed ANFA for hatching a plot to bar his side from lifting the trophy.

“The ANFA and the referees have a policy of defeating us in the league. The referees are given directives to give decision against us,” Ghale blamed.

He also blamed ANFA for excluding the Club from the manager’s meeting called on Sunday. “We knew nothing about the manager’s meeting. ANFA neither sent a communication nor gave a phone call.”

“If ANFA continues with such acts, we will pull out of the national league and also quit professional football,” Ghale threatened. MMC is the club with the highest amount of investment in Nepali football. According to club sources, it has invested more than Rs 10 million for the current league.

“Previously, we had thought referees were making mistakes but after being ignored for the manager’s meeting, we feel ANFA’s intention is to bar us from being the champion.”

“I came to know about the meeting when I came to submit a request letter to ANFA. I got shocked to see representatives of all other clubs,” Ghale added.

He also vented his ire against ANFA for terminating his club’s formal request to publish the fixture of his side in the last day of round 14. “Nine players of my team were included in the national team which played the World Cup Qualifiers from the Asian region. They were exhausted after the match played on Saturday. Therefore, I have submitted a request letter to ANFA asking them to fix our team’s match on the last day of the round.”

“We have filed a protest complaining referees Laba Khatri and Sachin Amatya had made mistakes. But ANFA did not give any response to our application but they are always eager to punish club officials and players.” Regarding Tuesday’s decision of referee Amatya, Ghale said, “He gave unnecessary foul to MMC after they took the ball to NRT’s danger zone, gave Anil Gurung unnecessary yellow card to bar him from playing next match against Bauddha.”

“Even a club like United brings four foreigner players, but why can’t ANFA bring referees from foreign countries if domestic referees can’t perform their duty well,” Ghale questioned.

ANFA CEO Indraman Tuladhar however denied allegations made by Ghale. “We had called MMC to the meeting and Manager Kumar Bhattarai was also present. However, the meeting was unofficial and we don’t have minute,” Tuladhar said adding, “We have called clubs for an unofficial discussion to conclude the league faster and prepare the national team.”

Though he accepted the number of referees may not enough, he argued that referees were not of low quality. “However, if required referees could be hired from abroad and we are discussing the matter.” He also claimed AANFA has provisions for internal punishment to referees if they are found guilty. “However, if referees do not commit serious offence, it can’t be made public,” Tuladhar claimed, adding referees were not favouring any team.

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