KATHMANDU, May 3: Birat Jung Shahi, a vice-presidential candidate for the upcoming All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) elections, and some other officials have filed a writ petition at the Kathmandu District Court seeking to halt the elections, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 5.
Shahi, two other vice-presidential candidates Ganesh Bahadur Chand (president of Kanchanpur District Football Association) and Mohammad Sami Ullah (president of Bara District Football Association) including Siraha’s Prabin Kumar Yadav, Parsa’s Man Dev Hajara, Lalitpur’s Purushottam Thapa, Kailali’s Mohit Kumar Shah and Satdobato Youth Club member Ashok Bista filed the petition against the National Sports Council (NSC), ANFA and the central football body’s election committee at the court, claiming that the ANFA is conducting the elections in breach of its statute which provisions issuance of a 60-day notice before the elections are held.
The petitioners belong to the Mani Kunwar-led panel, one of the ANFA presidential candidates, who on Tuesday had warned the election committee of boycotting the elections if they were held going against the statute.
Stating that the election date was fixed without issuing a 60-day prior notice, the date was not first decided by the working committee, and that the NSC had not passed its statute, Kunwar had concluded that the May 5 elections would be invalid. Kunwar is the incumbent senior vice-president of ANFA.
Meanwhile, Karma Chirring Sherpa-led panel has reiterated that there are no legal hurdles for the Saturday elections. Sherpa panel has maintained that the elections should not be deferred at any cost as it could minimize the chances of FIFA ban on ANFA.
However, Sherpa said that he would respond to Kunwar after the court gives verdict on the petition. Sherpa is another candidate for the presidential race.
The elected committee of ANFA, whose term had expired in November last year, had fixed the date of March 28 to hold the General Assembly, citing various reasons including the November 26 and December 7 House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections.
But the elections could not be held on the scheduled date, after the High Court Patan, hearing on the writ petition filed by the Bhaktapur and Makwanpur district chapters, issued an interim order to stay the elections.
However, the Patan court later withdrew the stay order, clearing the path to hold the elections.