Fri, 23 Feb, 2024


By Mahan Adhikari

Picture Courtesy: Neesha Dhungana

Football is a game of trust. It cannot be played unless there is a mutual understanding between the players as well as the supporters. And when it comes to national level football, people are even more passionate and excited as it is their country that is being represented. But when crimes like match fixing happens in these national level games, it indeed brakes hearts of the millions of supporters. Recently football players from Nepal have broken hearts of several Nepali football fans.

Our football matches had a regular outcome since 2008 which raised suspicions to several football intelligence. On the back of long-term collaboration between the Association Football Confederation (AFC) , Sport Radar Security Services and Nepal Police, investigation was started and finally in 2015, 5 players were suspected as the criminals namely; national team skipper Sagar Thapa, vice-captain Sandip Rai, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa and former defenders Anjan KC and Bikash Singh Chhetry. The intelligence gathered was shared with Nepal Police and a formal investigation was initiated which resulted in the suspicion and arrest of the five Nepali football players. These five footballers have been banned by the All Nepal Football Association until final verdict. After the court trail, police had claimed that the five footballers had already accepted their charges and revealed that they were involved in the scam of various international matches from 2008 to 2014. National players who are loved, respected and looked upon as role-models by millions of countrymen when commit such hideous act, it indeed makes everyone unhappy.

But on the other side, we can take this incident as a benchmark for the exceptional work done by AFC, Sport Radar Security Services and Nepal Police. According to the rule books of AFC, it accepts tolerance against violation of footballing rules, commitment and dedication. So this incident also proved that AFC is doing all it can for the country, its countrymen and football. We also must applaud the Nepal Police for their reaction to the information and intelligence published by Sport Radar. Sport Radar’s Managing Director of Security Services, Andreas Krannich, bestowed his gratitude to AFC and Nepali police and showed his commitment to abolish all illegal aspects of the beautiful game of football. Those five players have been banned from playing football throughout their lifetime and are fined a handsome amount of money as well. It clearly shows that, when u do something wrong, u will surely have to pay for it.

An incident like this in Nepali football is a matter to be ashamed about. Players must realize that it is not just the 11 players that are playing because the entire country’s hearts are supporting at the stadium as well.  All the support and dedication is a waste if activities like these happen. Let’s hope that no such activities happen in the future and we can love football the way it is.