Presidential candidate Mani Kunwar (center) speaks during a press meet in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Photo: Republica ANFA
KATHMANDU, May 2: The candidate for the president’s post of All Nepal Football Association (ANFA), Mani Kunwar, on Tuesday hinted of not taking part in the central committee and district chapters’ elections that are scheduled to be held on May 5, claiming that the elections are not legitimate.
Kunwar, claiming that the election committee does not have the right to fix the date of the election, said that the committee should give 60-day notice to call the General Assembly prior to the election, according to the association’s statute.
“No decision for fixing the dates and conducting the elections was made at the working committee meeting. The earlier date fixed for the elections was postponed due to an interim order of the court,” Kunwar said. “Despite requesting the National Sports Council (NSC) to pass the statute, it has not been passed yet.”
Kunwar added that the representatives of remote districts can’t come to the capital on short notice. “It is clearly mentioned in the statute that a 60-day notice should be issued prior to the General Assembly. They have already written to conduct the elections on May 5 on April 27. Are eight days enough for 231 representatives of the remote districts to come to the capital?”
Article 26 (2) of ANFA’s statute states that the date, time and location for the General Assembly should be fixed by the working committee and the notice should be issued minimum 60 days ahead of the assembly. Likewise, as per Article 26 (3), it is stated that the official letter should be written 10 days before the meeting for the General Assembly.
Kunwar stated that if the election is conducted breaching the laws, the other party will file a case if the result is not in their favor, and the dispute will begin again.
“Scheduling of the elections for May 5 has drawn my team’s serious attention, since it breaches the law. It may elect somebody to the post, but there will be no favorable environment to work for the development of football after the elections,” Kunwar said.
Stating that the Karma Chirring Sherpa’s panel was ready to file a petition if the election result does not come in their favor, Kunwar added, “We have several examples of people filing a case after losing the elections only to invite disputes. Some of our friends, who are in the election race, are famous in filing cases.”
“We are confident of winning the upcoming elections. But, since the possibility of filing a case against it is highly likely, we want the elections be held as per the statute.”
The ANFA election committee on April 22, suggesting May 5 as a suitable date for holding elections, had requested the football body’s secretariat to announce the date. Following pressure from the Sherpa panel to conduct the elections on the suggested date, the election committee, had requested the ANFA president on April 25 to prepare for the elections, stating that the High Court Patan had already cleared the path for the elections.
“The Sherpa panel compelled the election committee to announce the election date locking them in a room till midnight giving them life threats,” said Kunwar. “The committee members were rescued by the police. It reminded me of the days when they kicked out ANFA Academy players for their personal benefit and formed their own association saying that they didn’t need recognition from the FIFA and the AFC. So, we have asked to follow the statute so that we avoid such incidents in the coming days.”
Kunwar further added that the election which was earlier scheduled for March 22, was deferred because of the Sherpa panel. “It was not Bhaktapur District Football Association, but the local clubs associated with the district chapter who had filed the case. Their recent activities have clearly justified it,’’ Kunwar further added.
“We are resolute at our stance that the Nepali football should be given a long-term output. The world football body FIFA and the court haven’t asked us to hold the elections going against the statute,” Kunwar said.
Kunwar, furious about the Karma panel’s election publicity campaign in social networks, added: “The sport cannot be promoted by criticizing others on Facebook. FIFA’s motto is Fair Play. I want to tell all the friends contesting the election to play fair game. I want to request all not to push ANFA into further trouble by holding the elections going against the statute and in the name of a reformed ANFA.”