Cash for Support? Are ANFA officials using money to stay in power?

At a time when the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Council and the Public Accounts Committee have ordered 4 ANFA officials to refrain from official duty for 2 months, Ganesh Thapa has directly rejected their orders and gone ahead and announced that each of the 45 District Football Associations (DFAs) will receive Rs. 2,00,000 each in December. Last year the DFAs received only Rs. 75,000. While the news in itself is good for the District Associations, the timing of the announcement and the increment in the financial assistance is interesting. ANFA has committed an extra 5.625 million rupees for the DFAs at a time when the top ANFA officials have been officially suspended by the Nepal Government.

While the ANFA Statutes are not available online, one might assume that the 45 District Associations,
along with the registered clubs, do take part in the election of the President and the members of the Executive Committee. Most likely, they can also call for the removal of the officials in exceptional circumstances.

So the question that now arises is why is ANFA splurging money on the DFAs now? Is Ganesh Thapa buying the support of the District Football Associations so that they do not vote to remove him from office? Do the DFAs have this authority? Maybe they do. But we will never know unless we read the ANFA statute which does not seem to be in the public domain.

Just to give you an example of the power of the member associations, in 2010, the then President of the Phillipine Football Federation, Jose Mari Martinez was unanimously voted out of office by the Presidents of the Member Football Associations through a ballot. He was removed by a vote of 25 to 4 out of a total of 33 Associations. Incidentally, he was also accused of receiving bribes from Mohammed Bin Hammam.

Maybe, in Nepal too, the ANFA member Associations should take the initiative to resolve the current crisis. One should never underestimate the power of democracy.