(Sushil Thapa, Fairfax/VA) – All Nepal Football Association continually hogs the media limelight for different reasons. It is once again at center of debate with regards to the future of football in Nepal.
The one thing we all can agree upon is that All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) is in dire need of meaningful reforms and genuine transparency at all levels to turn things around for the better.
Things are gradually starting to heat up, following reinstatement of the four suspended ANFA executives Karma Tshering Sherpa, Pankaj Nembang, Bijaya Narayan Manandhar and Kishore Rai to their posts.
It may be recalled that the four were up in arms over Mr. Thapa’s disastrous leadership and decades of autocratic rule. They reached a point they could not take it anymore and were resolute to take him down.
They had accused the ex- ANFA honcho of high handedness, abuse of power, mismanagement, corruption and unfairness. As a consequence, flexing his despotic muscles Mr. Thapa unfairly suspended them in retaliation.
Furthermore, they had to overcome frustration because the government and the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) failed to take any legal action against him.
Stymied but undaunted, they stubbornly kept their fight against the all-powerful disgraced Mr. Thapa that eventually led to his downfall.
Mr. Thapa’s ouster was virtually impossible without their rock solid determination and tireless efforts. Had it not been FIFA directives, ANFA led by acting President Narendra Shrestha would have never welcomed them back.
The football body had no choice but to comply with the world football governing body’s order. Now that the four are back, this brings me to my next question; what next?
The suspended executives did eke out an important victory without a doubt, but I really don’t know what they can bring to the table.
As I write nothing has changed, and it is business as usual. I don’t expect anything to change just yet as things stand now.
ANFA Vice- President Mr. Sherpa voiced the need for a new start, good governance, accountability and transparency in ANFA.
He has made it very clear that the football body cannot continue to function as it has for decades. More important, he made a commitment to do his very best to change things around.
They are a minority group, and I wonder how they will move their causes and agendas forward.
It is not going to be easy game by any stretch of the imagination, especially with Mr. Thapa’s stooges in total control of the football body.
They have indeed a stupendous task ahead. They will require a tremendous amount of effort to convince Mr. Thapa’s cronies who are in no mood for compromise. Bad blood still persists between the two factions.
Honestly speaking, Mr.Sherpa is less likely to make any headway against his opponents. These abject sycophants still look upward to Mr.Thapa and do not give a damn whether Nepali football suffers or not as a result of their greedy, selfish and power hungry actions.
I am pretty sure Mr. Shrestha and company will do whatever it takes to thwart their moves.
There are no indications that Mr. Thapa’s loyalists are prepared to part ways with their suspended boss. Keeping in mind the upcoming ANFA election, stakes are high for most of them.
They are fully aware of the fact that abandoning Mr.Thapa would seriously jeopardize their electoral success.
Despite losing substantial grounds and lying low, Mr.Thapa reigns supreme and is in total control over the proceedings. Everyone is aware that he is pulling the strings behind the scenes.
The roadblocks should not stop Mr. Sherpa and his colleagues from achieving their goals. They must continue working on their agendas regardless of the situation and take the watchdog role to prevent them from doing things that should not be done.
Otherwise, crumbling under pressure or compromising to find a solution quickly would be a huge mistake and make them look more like pretenders.