News NSC and ANFA Incompetence Brings Shame To The Country !
Sushil Thapa

For the second time Dasharath Rangasala (stadium) was deemed unfit for Nepal’s upcoming 2026 World Cup and 2027 Asia Cup qualifying match against the United Arab Emirates.

The decision was made by the Asian Football Confederation(AFC) officials upon inspection of the field. They concluded that the playing surface lacked proper maintenance work,resulting in unevenness and inconsistency. Also they found the floodlights in the stadium not up to the standards set by the world football governing body.

Apparently uneven turf dotted with bumps, divots and holes puts players at an elevated risk of injuries and adversely affects performance. The playing surface must be in line with international standards regardless.Players safety must never ever be compromised.

As a result,the decision was made to move the match from Nepal to a new venue ,not yet disclosed. It was only two months ago AFC had stripped Nepal of the right to host the match against Bahrain at Dasharath Rangasala for the same aforementioned reasons. And,yet again,sports buffs will be denied the chance to watch their team play and get behind them.

Nepal’s lack of preparedness to host the World Cup qualifying matches is unacceptable,shameful and beyond imagination. This is a case of deliberate gross negligence on the part of the National Sports Council(NSC) and the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA). NSC and ANFA have indulged in finger pointing,holding each other responsible for failing to have the ground ready for the match.

The hosts must maintain acceptable quality of the playing surface which meets FIFA standards. The football body contends that NSC is responsible for the maintenance of the ground and floodlights. And they had brought the sports council’s attention to the poor ground conditions and urged them to start the maintenance work promptly but to no avail. On the other hand, NSC claims that it only gives permission to hold events, and ANFA is obligated to maintain the pitch all year round since they have hired their groundsmen for the sole purpose. The two sides must stop playing the blame game.

The Youth and Sports Ministry have to take the matter seriously and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. I perceive this as a gross dereliction of duty. The Ministry must find out the guilty party .It is imperative to put a stop to this kind of negligence and take action against the responsible people.

After Nepal lost the right to host the match against Bahrain,there was ample time to carry out the required maintenance work and have the ground ready for the United Arab Emirates clash. Instead they blatantly ignored their responsibilities bringing shame, embarrassment and humiliation to the country.

Sports enthusiasts who are sick and tired of sport bodies’ height of incompetence have been left frustrated,disappointed and fuming.

The stadium is being randomly used for multiple events like cultural programs, convocations, musical concerts,political gatherings and many more on a regular basis. As a consequence,it has led to the deterioration of the playing field.To further compound matters,there is no timely and proper maintenance work.

As a matter of fact, the stadium issue should have been addressed and resolved in a timely manner. NSC and ANFA have made a laughing stock of themselves. It implies a lack of responsibility, good governance,integrity, accountability and transparency on their part. From my personal standpoint, the only permanent solution to the problem is a new stadium exclusively for football.

By Sushil Thapa,Fairfax,VA, USA

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