KATHMANDU, April 20: The All Nepal Football Players’ Association has expressed serious concern over the ongoing irregularities in Nepali football particularly by the postponement of General Assembly and election of the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA).
The Vice-president of the players’ association and the national team captain Biraj Maharjan, at a press meet in Kathmandu on Thursday, said that confusion in the ANFA has led the Nepali football to instability and that has resulted in the organization’s inability to organize the A-Division league for about three years now.
The association further added that the ANFA’s inefficiency to organize the league has not only affected players, clubs, coaches and technical manpower, but has also compelled players for searching opportunity abroad to make money.
“It’s been years since a first division league was held in the country and we have only domestic tournaments to play which is not enough to prepare for the international tournaments. All the players are facing this tough situation and we hope that ANFA gets us out of this mess very soon,’’ Maharjan said. “The league will not be organized without the election in the first place, so it is necessary to hold the elections first and then organize the league and bring Nepali football back to its original form.’’
On the other hand, all the football clubs through the Football Club Coordination Committee (FCCC) had decided to not sign any players until these issues are settled and the election is conducted.
So, without the players being signed, the clubs taking part in the domestic tournaments can’t grow and the Nepali football can’t make any progress. The associations accused the ANFA, who has the responsibility of developing the Nepali football, of not taking any concrete measures to settle the disputes and “get it out of the ongoing dark situation”.
Maharjan further said that the ANFA has neither organized the league on its own, nor has it fixed the dates to organize the league in coordination with the clubs.
National team midfielder Sujal Shrestha, who takes the league as the most important platform to help the Nepali football grow, said that the players don’t have any link with any parties of the ANFA and they just want the league to be organized as soon as possible.
Asked about the reason behind the cancellation of Malaysia friendly, Maharjan explained that they had just a week remaining after the last group stage match of the AFC Asian Qualifiers 2019 against Yemen, and that the clubs the national players are associated with did not permit them as the clubs were already playing in domestic tournaments.
“The clubs did not allow the players, so we had to cancel the Malaysia friendly and we had just a week for preparations after the match against Yemen,’’ said Maharjan, saying that they are struggling even to arrange to square meal mainly due to absence of league. “When we were playing the league, we got salary for 12 months and we got to play in leagues and other domestic tournaments as well. But, now it’s all Gold Cups when we play and we get the salary hardly for five months.’’