KATHMANDU, July 13: The suspended chief of All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) Ganesh Thapa has verbally abused former lawmaker Ram Hari Khatiwada, alleging that the latter had ruined his career by implicating him in a multi-million rupees scam at ANFA.
Thapa, who in 2015 was been banned from all footballing activities for 10 years for bribery by the FIFA Ethics Committee, vented his ire against Khatiwada, the then member of the Parliamentary Account Committee (PAC), as the exposure of the scam cost Thapa his job.
Thapa and Khatiwada met at a party at Hotel Soaltee in the capital on Tuesday evening. As Khatiwada exchanged greetings after seeing him face to face, Thapa began venting his ire, saying “you ruined my career”. “Had the Public Accounts Committee not taken up the issue, I would not have been banned internationally,” Khatiwada quoted Thapa as saying.
Although a complaint was filed at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), then chief of the anti-graft body Lok Man Singh Karki had deferred action against Thapa under his personal influence. The corruption drew scrutiny both at home and abroad after the PAC raised the issue at the initiative of various lawmakers including Khatiwada.
While threatening Khatiwada with dire consequences, Thapa had demanded public apology from Khatiwada—something Khatiwada had rejected outright. An inebriated Thapa had then begun scolding Khatiwada. Thapa had claimed that several members of the erstwhile PAC had apologized to him.
The PAC had found that he had embezzled over Rs 580 million in corruption in ANFA. It was also revealed that Thapa had also received over Rs 2 million in the name of his son from a Gulf country. The money was meant for ANFA.
Thapa as president of ANFA was found by FIFA's ethics committee to have “committed various acts of misconduct over several years, including the solicitation and acceptance of cash payment from another football official for personal and family gain.” These were connected to the 2009 and 2011 elections for the FIFA executive committee at the Asian Confederation's Congress.