KATHMANDU, March 23: High Court Patan on Thursday issued an interim order staying the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA)’s central committee and district chapters’ elections which was scheduled for March 28.
Hearing on an appeal of the District Football Association Bhaktapur, a single bench of justice Raj Kumar Ban issued the order to stay the elections, while ordering both the sides to appear before the court within 15 days. District Football Association Makawanpur had also filed a petition against ANFA for not including them in the general assembly.
ANFA had earlier unveiled the voters list excluding the two districts stating that the elections held in Bhaktapur and Makwanpur failed to meet its directions.
Local clubs of Bhaktapur accused the ANFA of imposing a syndicate in football and demanded the inclusion of all the district associations in the elections. ANFA had not recognized Makwanpur’s election because of the absence of central representatives of ANFA during the chapter’s election.
“We could not conduct the elections after the court issued a verdict in favor of Bhaktapur ordering to stop the elections. In Makwanpur, we did not validate the elections as President Rajendra Shrestha conducted the elections on his own in the absence of ANFA’s central representatives,’’ ANFA spokesperson Sanjeev Mishra said, “It is compulsory to conduct elections in any district at the presence of central representatives according to the district elections directive.”
Candidacy of Kunwar was registered from the establishment side while Karma Chiring Sherpa challenged him from another panel for the elections scheduled for March 28 for the coming four-year tenure.
Likewise, District Football Association Bhaktapur’s President Gautam Sukhaju has supported Kunwar, while Makwanpur’s Lama is on Sherpa’s side. Sukhaju said he had no option but to move the court after he was deprived of his right to vote in central election. “There was a conspiracy of depriving me of voting in the central election. Therefore I went to the court against it. Three clubs who don’t fall under the criteria of voters list issued a petition in the Bhaktapur District Court,’’ Sukhaju said, “The members of the clubs kept on extending the case despite the court’s effort to give a good decision. It seemed that their motive was to stop me from voting. So, I filed a petition against them.’’
ANFA President Narendra Shrestha said that he would respond about the upcoming elections on Friday only after discussing with the legal advisors.
“I have just heard that there has been an interim order from the court and we will get it in writing on Friday.
I will take necessary decision after discussing with lawyers,’’ Shrestha said. Kunwar said that they will move forward with the direction of FIFA, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and National Sports Council (NSC).
“I have not yet received the court decision and ANFA will move forward according to the direction of FIFA, AFC, NSC and the lawyers,’’ Kunwar said, “It will be of big uncertainty if the elections is not conducted on time and if we had done it in time.’’
Sherpa said, “I also heard that court issued an interim order from the high court, but I do not know anything about it. I have not yet read the papers. We can respond to this decision after Friday’s decision.’’