Ganesh Thapa and the ANFA Money Trail

The Public Accounts Commission (PAC) of Nepal has suspended Ganesh Thapa from ANFA while investigations into corruption continue. According to MyRepublica, PAC has charged Ganesh Thapa of involvement in financial embezzlement worth NRs. 580 million. I had previously posted an article on givemegoal.com about the ANFA money trail which details the financial support received by ANFA from FIFA for football related development activities in Nepal. In light of the recent decision by PAC, I am reposting in on this blog for all readers and followers of Nepali football and Nepali sport.


NOTE: I am glad that PAC has taken the bold step of recommending further investigations against Ganesh Thapa. I hope that the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Anti-money laundering Department will carry out further investigations and get to the bottom of the investigation and remove Ganesh Thapa completely from ANFA.  I think Nepali football has suffered enough for 19 years under him.  

The original article was a follow up to an earlier article that I had written about ANFA's mismanagement and was motivated by yet another article on GoalNepal about Ganesh Thapa's alleged corruption scandal. In that particular article, there is a list of 17 points that were raised by the Public Accounts Commission (PAC) in its investigation against Ganesh Thapa. I want to highlight 2 key points in my post.

1. How much money has ANFA received from FIFA?

I did a quick search on Google and came up with two links relating to GOAL projects supported by FIFA in Nepal and the Financial Assistance Program supported by FIFA in Nepal.

Details about GOAL project funding to ANFA, Nepal is available from the FIFA website at the following link - http://www.fifa.com/associations/association=nep/development-activities/goal/index.html

Based on the information provided on the FIFA website, ANFA has received the following amounts of money for different projects in Nepal.

1. 25-09-2012 - $5,00,000 - upgrade of facilities at the location of the ANFA HQ, ANFA Academy and Artificial turf in Kathmandu
2. 26-10-2010 - $4,00,000 - Financing of three existing ANFA football academies in Lalitpur (Kathmandu), Dharan and Butwal. The academies support 180 boys from different age groups (U-12, U-14, U-16)
3. 07-11-2005 - $4,00,000 - Renovation and completion of the existing technical centre located at the ANFA complex and technical centre at Chysal
4. 13-02-2001 - $5,00,000 - Construction of three regional centres

This adds up to $18,00,000 for GOAL projects since 2001.

Similarly, details about the FAP (Financial Assistance Program) funding that Nepal has received from FIFA is available at http://www.fifa.com/associations/association=nep/development-activities/FAP/index.html.

According to the information provided on this page, ANFA has received funds for development activities since 2010 (the year that FIFA started offering FAP to member nations and has imposed a requirement on each member nation to appoint a Technical Director)
1. 2014 - $2,50,000
2. 2013 - $2,50,000
3. 2012 - $2,50,000
4. 2011 - $5,50,000 (which includes a bonus of $3,00,000)
5. 2010 - $5,00,000 (which includes a bonus of $2,50,000)

The funds under FAP are offered for hosting football competitions, for planning and administration, event management, infrastructure and other miscellaneous expenses. It is worth noting that ANFA received two bonuses from FIFA in 2010 and 2011 (a total of $5,50,000)

The total funds received under FAP add up to $1800000.

2. Why did ANFA receive money from the Qatar Football Association (QFA), Mohammed Bin Hammam and Kemko Construction?

ANFA has apparently received $6,00,000 from QFA. I say apparently because I cannot find any concrete evidence to support this. Ganesh Thapa has received $1,00,000 from Bin Hammam and 1,15,000 GBP from Kemko Construction. I believe that Ganesh Thapa has publicly accepted that he has received this money for personal business reasons. It is worth noting that Kemko Construction is the company linked with the bribing scandal surrounding Qatar's bid for hosting the World Cup in 2022.

What is interesting is the timing of the funds and the amount given. I think Hammam gave money to Thapa to boost Qatar's chances of winning the 2022 bid. But why did QFA give money to ANFA? Is it to compensate for the deaths of hundreds of Nepali labourers working on the Qatari stadiums in preparation for World Cup 2022? Is it blood money? Is ANFA and through it, Ganesh Thapa benefiting indirectly because of the deaths of poor, innocent Nepalis in Qatar?

NOTE: It is interesting to note that Nepal is going to play another match against Phillipines in Qatar on October 31, 2014 by invitation from the Qatari FA.