March 24, 2018 10:48 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, March 24: Despite suggestions from FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to conduct the elections in the stipulated time, All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) elections has been deferred following the stay order of the High Court Patan.
The court issued an interim order after hearing on the petitions that were filed at the court as elections of two district chapters of ANFA in Makwanpur district and Bhaktapur district courted controversy. The election of the central committee of ANFA, the football’s central government body, was earlier scheduled for March 28.
According to ANFA President Narendra Shrestha, the possibility of holding elections on the scheduled date is highly unlikely because the election committee itself has not become ready for the election mainly because of the court order.
“We held consultation with the election committee about the court order. The committee said it cannot move ahead disregarding the High Court’s decision. They are of the view that the elections should be conducted also including Bhaktapur and Makwanpur district football associations,’’ Shrestha said adding, “The members of the election committee said they may quit the committee if they are compelled to conduct the elections without their consent.”
“We will discuss with the election committee tomorrow again and reach a conclusion,” he added.
“But it will be impossible to conduct the polls on March 28.”
Stating that FIFA and AFC have advised to hold the election on time, Shrestha said, “The World and Asian football governing body have suggested us not to defer the election date and regularly update about our activities. We have submitted an updated report and sent it to AFC and FIFA, but they have not responded yet.”
“We also consulted with all the candidates of the elections. We are in favor of holding elections as soon as possible,” Shrestha said.
The election committee formed for the ANFA polls includes Suman KC, Laxman Thapa and Rajbhai Manandhar.
High Court Patan, after hearing on an appeal of the District Football Association Bhaktapur, on Thursday had issued an interim order to stay the ANFA elections.
A single bench of justice Raj Kumar Ban issued the order, while directing both the sides to appear before the court within 15 days. District Football Association Makawanpur had also filed a writ petition against ANFA for not including them in the General Assembly.
Earlier, ANFA had unveiled the voters list excluding the two football associations saying that Bhaktapur and Makwanpur district chapters breached the Election Directorate while conducting their elections.
Incumbent senior vice president Mani Kunwar and former vice-president Karma Chhiring Sherpa are contesting for the ANFA Presidency.
Candidate Sherpa said that he got information about the suggestions from FIFA and AFC through ANFA office bearers and expressed hope the elections would be conducted on time.
“I don’t know anything about the elections. ANFA is the body that should take the decision and inform about it. I knew about the FIFA directions from office bearers of ANFA,” said Sherpa. “We have to respect the court’s decision and FIFA’s suggestions as well. If we are to follow the FIFA’s suggestions, ANFA should conduct the elections of Bhaktapur and Makwanpur district chapters. The ANFA should send representatives for that,” he added.