Officials of Three Star Club during a press conference in the capital on Tuesday.
KATHMANDU, Dec 14: National league champion Ruslan Three Star Club has demanded compensation of Rs 60 million from All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) after the negligence of the football government body deprived the Patan-based club of participating in the AFC Asia Cup.
Three Star has threatened to withdraw from all football-related activities if its demand is not met.
Three Star made such demand during a press conference organized to express its official statement following its exclusion from the playoff rounds of the AFC Asia Cup. ANFA has already apologized for the incident and formed a probe committee regarding the incident.
“The club has not only made hefty investment since its participation in the play off qualifying rounds, but the tournament is also related national pride. It is an emotional moment for players, fans and whole Three Star family. The culprit must be punished and Thee Star should be duly compensated with Rs 60 million. Unless the issue is settled, Three Star will not get involved in any kind of football activities,” Three Star's acting President Arun Man Joshi said.
Three Star was deprived of its right to participate in the play-off rounds of the AFC Cup after ANFA, the responsible body to register team, failed to do so within the deadline of November 23 set by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The AFC had corresponded thrice to ensure participation of Three Star but ANFA ignored them.
Three Star had featured in the playoff qualifiers of the Asia Cup in the capacity of national champion and booked a playoff spot as the winner. The club had finished ahead of Erchim FC of Mongolia and Nagaworld of Cambodia during the qualifiers played in Ulan Bator in August.
“ANFA has already admitted its mistake and formed an internal probe committee. But we are not convinced that the probe committee will punish the culprit. Thus, we will also appeal to the government of Nepal, Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Council and Nepal Olympic Committee to probe into the incident and punish the guilty,” Joshi said, adding that the incident has had negative effect on the brand value of the club and also to its sponsors.
The Club's General Secretary Sanjeev Shilpakar said that the club got opportunity to play by its own efforts rather than from anyone's mercy. He also said that the club had invested more than Rs seven million for participation in the qualifying round and they have spent huge amount for players contract. “There was possibility for us to win $1 million or half of the amount had we secured top two positions in the tournament,” Silpakar lamented. “However, being practical we have demanded Rs 60 million.”
He also pointed out the need of Club Association consisting of all divisions of clubs to exert pressure on ANFA.
Speaking on behalf of coaches, former national team coach and national captain Bal Gopal Maharjan said that the incident was misfortunate for whole Nepali football. “It is a mysterious incident and the guilty must be punished. Not only players, referees and coaches should be disciplined but it is equally essential for office bearers of ANFA to behave responsibly,” Maharjan said.
A Division outfit Jawalakhel Youth Club's President Thulobhai KC, speaking on behalf of all the clubs, said that there was no point of forming a probe committee by ANFA since it was the responsible body to commit blunder.
“All clubs should work together and exert pressure on ANFA for compensation,” KC said.
Three Star coach Meghraj KC lamented that the players and coaches missed the opportunity due to sheer negligence of ANFA. “ANFA has been repeatedly committing such mistakes since long time. But ANFA has not faced punishment for any of such events,” he said.
Krishna Karki, president of the official supporter group of the club blamed that it was ANFA's conspiracy to deny Three Star from participating in the tournament. “It is treason against the country. How can a person lead the football association who cannot even open an email,” he said.