Nepal skipper Thapa among five footballers banned for life in fixing scam
By Adarsha Dhakal
Five Nepali footballers, including their skipper Sagar Thapa, have been slapped with a life ban by the Asian Football Confederation for their involvement in international match fixing.
Thapa, former coach and international footballer Anjan KC, current national team vice-captain Sandip Rai, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa and former interntional Bikash Singh Chhetri were given a life ban by the regional football governing body. The footballers are currently facing subversion charges in their country's Special Court which has granted them bail.
They had admitted under police custody that they took huge amount from international bookies to manipulate the results during Nepal's several international matches since 2008 to 2012. However, they pleaded innocent during their hearings.
"Four Nepal players and one official were banned for life for match-fixing offences. Official Anjan K.C. and the four players, Bikash Singh Chhetri, Sandip Rai, Ritesh Thapa and Sagar Thapa, were found guilty of violating article 62 and 69 of the AFC Disciplinary Code in relation to various friendly international A team fixtures during the period 2008-2012," a release from AFC said.
AFC had provisionally suspended the players on October 16 after the scandal surfaced. Nepal Police had arrested the tainted footballers in October following a year-long investigation in collaboration with Sportsradar Securtiy Services and AFC.
Nepal football has been dogged by on-field controversies for quit a long time. The country's football governing body, All Nepal Football Association, was also recently banned for 10 years by Fifa for taking bribes and corruption charges. He was also fined 21,000 Swiss Francs.
The Oslo Times