News 20th March 2015

FIFA to investigate allegations of misconduct at Nepal FA

The Investigatory Chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee is to investigate alleged misconduct at the All-Nepal Football Association (ANFA). The President of ANFA, Ganesh Thapa, has suspended himself for an additional 90 days from today, whilst the Ethics Committee completes its investigation. He had previously suspended himself for 120 days, which ended on 3 March 2015.

FIFA said that Thapa had ‘agreed not to participate in any football-related activity…while the FIFA Ethics Committee completes its review of claims involving alleged misconduct’ in a statement released today. However, in a statement on the ANFA internet site, Thapa told the ANFA that he had suspended himself ‘due to health conditions’.

That release revealed that ANFA officials face suspension for boycotting three ANFA Executive Committee meetings. The boycotting officials now also face a ban unless they can explain their absence from the meetings to the ANFA. It is understood that officials are frustrated with a failure to fully explore allegations involvement embezzlement of ANFA funds.

Last year, Nepal’s Parliamentary Account Committee (PAC) ordered an investigation into the allegations, however the report has yet to be published. FIFA’s Ethics Committee reviewed claims of embezzlement last November, but up until today had not opened a full investigation.

However, in the absence of the boycotting officials, the ANFA Executive Committee meeting allowed its Treasurer, Birat Jung Shahi, to return to office as of 20 March. Shahi stepped down in October over allegations of misappropriation of funds. ‘The meeting also decided to create and implement a staff administrative regulation, financial regulation and procurement regulation, as directed by the Ministry for Youth and Sports, National Sports Council and Commission for Investigation for the Abuse of Authority’, read the ANFA release. FIFA has declined to comment further until its investigation is completed.

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