Delay in releasing prep money makes top-tier league uncertain


By Anjan Khadka,Kathmandu, Dec 8: Nepali football's the back bone Martyr's Memorial 'A' Division League has been uncertain after

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) did not provide the preparation money to the top-tier clubs.

ANFA has announced to run the first division league from December 10.

The 14 first-division clubs mulled stepping down from the league after they were not provided with the preparation money on time.

Clubs have blamed the administrating body of domestic football for backing from the agreement to provide the money on time.

During the meeting on November 7, ANFA and the Clubs had a mutual understanding between them to get the preparation money by December 1. 

ANFA has agreed to provide cash of Rs. 15,00,000 for the preparation of each first-division club then.   During the day-long discussion, ANFA agreed to release all the due amount of Rs. 2,250,000 including preparation money to the clubs by last Thursday.

Nonetheless, the preparation money has not been released by the nation’s football governing body yet.

The top-tier clubs should register their teams with 18 footballers within ten days of receiving the preparation money.   The nine clubs have demanded ANFA immediately release the due amounts for running the league on the proper time.

Nine top division clubs, other than defending champions Machhindra Football Club, Tribhuvan Army Club, APF Club, Nepal Police Club and newcomer Church Boys Club, demanded the prompt release of money through a joint meeting held in the capital on December 2.

According to the Clubs, they are demanding early match preparations money as per their deal. They also have demanded to host the top tier league three months after receiving the preparation fee. They had already submitted an attention letter to ANFA last Sunday.

On the condition of being anonymous, one of the representatives of the disgruntling clubs blamed ANFA for conspiring to not organize the first-division league. "ANFA has been giving false assurances many times. 

We cannot believe ANFA anymore. The football administrating body should improve its poor working attitude.  ANFA has conspired to not organize the league," the representative said.

Senior Vice President of ANFA, Bir Bahadur Khadka accepted the weakness of not being able to release the money on time. He, however, assured to host the league at a favourable time.

"The agreement on providing the preparation fee has been made with the clubs in the presence of ANFA President Pankaj Bikram Nembang and General Secretary Kiran Rai. ANFA will soon work on implementing the agreement," Khadka, who was absent during the meeting, said.

"ANFA has tried its best to provide preparation fees on time. Due to technical problems, we failed to provide the fee to the clubs as promised.”

Khadka, however, revealed that ANFA is thinking to shift the league in Mid-January of the new year 2023.

"Now, ANFA has made a plan to organise the league in the mid of January 2023. Regarding this plan, the conversation with the Clubs will be done shortly" senior vice-president Khadka added.

Being annoyed with the uncertainty of the first division leagues, the National football team’s senior member Sujal Shrestha expressed his frustration via his official account social media networking site Facebook.

Shrestha, also the skipper of the title holders Machhindra, wrote the long status on his news feed demanding both the ANFA and Clubs be responsible to hold leagues on time.

He asked the ANFA to provide money to the clubs as per agreement. Shrestha also pointed out the Club’s failure on providing the salary to the players as per the deal.   

"Players have suffered for a long time from not receiving their salary on time. We never have complained about it because of hampering football.  I request to resolve the issues as soon as possible," Shrestha wrote.

He also expressed his dissatisfaction over ANFA for not providing the prize money to the national men’s and women’s teams and age group teams as announced.

Meanwhile, the All Nepal Football Players Association (ANFPA) on Wednesday summited a memorandum letter to ANFA demanding a conducive environment to conduct domestic football as soon as possible. 

ANFPA President Bikram Lama and his team handed over a memorandum letter to ANFA President Pankaj Bikram Nembang at ANFA Complex, Lalitpur.

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