Please Step Aside, Mr. President

There seems to be some confusion regarding the current investigation against ANFA and the impact it can have on the future of Nepali football. The key question is whether the PAC investigation is against an institution or an individual. 
When PAC made an official submission on its initial investigation into corruption allegations at ANFA, it made the recommendation that "all" ANFA office-bearers refrain from carrying out official duties for a period of 2 months while further investigations are carried out. This was to prevent tampering of evidence. PAC has not explicitly named any officials but referred to ANFA in general. 

However, the media has widely reported that Ganesh Thapa, the President of ANFA has been suspended for two months. No other officials have had their names mentioned in the Nepali media. Most allegations that have emerged are against the ANFA President including receiving money from Hammam both in his own account and his son's account, appointing his son as an agent for Plus One, taking unilateral decisions on all matters related to ANFA, threatening members of the football fraternity etc.

Former ANFA staff have also directly blamed him. Former Technical Director Krishna Thapa has blamed Ganesh Thapa for the issues within ANFA. ANFA VPs Karma Tsering Sherpa, Bijaya Manandhar, Kishor Rai Jhapali and ANFA member Pankaj Nembang have filed official complaints against him. Former Three Star coach Pradip Humagain has also blamed Ganesh Thapa for all ANFA woes (after migrating to the US). A number of top-level clubs including Machhindra FC, Friends, Himalayan sherpa & Saraswati are unhappy with ANFA, and in particular its President 

It appears that there are two issues that need to be investigated within ANFA - governance and corruption, and the incumbent President is linked with both issues. 

Yesterday, the Nepali national team players, coaches and referees submitted a memorandum to the National Sports Council requesting it to reconsider the recommendation made by PAC. The full statement can be read here and here. The letter states that through the medium of football, Nepali players are being rewarded "motorcycles, cars, apartments and cash rewards" which has made them hopeful about their future as professional football players. Therefore, if ANFA gets suspended, it might put their professional careers in jeopardy. Sadly, the letter does not mention that 4 of the top Nepali clubs - Machhindra FC, Friends, Himalayan Sherpa & Saraswati will not be taking part in the home and away League this year (if it goes ahead) because they have been suspended and have not been paid their prize money and preparation money for last year. Nor does it state that many players are going overseas because they do not see a professional career in Nepal in the near future.

Importantly, the letter states that the players, coaches and referees have no issue with the concerned departments investigating corruption allegations at ANFA as long as ANFA is not suspended by FIFA

So how can this be avoided? How can ANFA continue its daily operations without hindering the investigations? 

Well, the simplest solution is for the President of ANFA to take voluntarily take leave of absence for the period of the investigation.

By doing so, he does not have to be suspended by the National Sports Council. If ANFA continues to function, no FIFA statutes are broken. 

The players can continue plying their trade although, nobody expects anything from them this year. After all, coach Jack Stefanowski has made it clear that the Nepali team is in transitional phase and preparing for the SAFF championships next year. Even ANFA does not expect much from the current team. All hopes are on the junior teams and they will take a few years to move to the senior level. So in principle, the impact of the ongoing investigations will not be much on Nepali football in the short term.

Therefore, Mr. President, for the sake of the long term future of Nepali football, please step aside from your post while investigations continue against you.

All Nepalis will welcome you back with open arms if and when you are proven innocent.