Fifa rejects Thapa’s ban appeal

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 24, 2016-

The Fifa Appeal Committee has rejected an appeal by former All Nepal Football Association (Anfa) President Ganesh Thapa against the 10-year Fifa ban.

Thapa was slapped with a 10-year ban by the world football governing body in November from all national and international football related activities under corruption and bribery charges. He was also fined 20,000 Swiss Francs. 

“The Fifa Appeal Committee has rejected the appeal lodged by Mr Thapa in full and partially confirmed the decision taken by the adjudicatory chamber on 9 November 2015 to suspend him from all football-related activities for a period of ten years and impose a fine of CHF 20,000,” Fifa said in a statement issued on Friday. 

“Mr Thapa was found guilty by the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee of infringing articles 13, 15, 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), 19, 20 and 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FCE,” the world football governing body added.

“In a spirit of good faith and in line with the principle established by article 85 paragraph 2 of the FCE, the period of 210 days during which Mr Thapa refrained from taking part in any football-related activity during the ethics proceedings was taken into account in the enforcement of the sanction. Consequently, the Fifa Appeal Committee has decided that the aforementioned ban imposed on Mr Thapa retroactively entered into force on 16 April 2015,” the statement read. 

Responding to the decision on Saturday, Thapa, issuing a stagement, said he was disappointed by the final outcome adding: “My hope and expectation, following recent Fifa reforms, was that the Appeal Committee would correct the earlier findings. Unfortunately, it failed to do so. I will now be taking my case to Court of Arbitration for Sport. This will be the first independent judicial body who will review the case.” 

Thapa, also a parliamentarian of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal led by his brother Kamal Thapa, faced corruption charges ever since Fifa suspended the then AFC president Mohammed bin Hammam just before the 2011 Fifa Congress that re-elected Sepp Blatter as its president. Blatter himself has been handed an eight-year ban.

The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in 2014 had directed the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to look into the corruption case against Thapa following a complaint by Anfa Vice-presidents Karma Tshering Sherpa and Bijay Narayan Manandhar accusing him of financial irregularities.

Thapa stepped down as the Anfa president, adhering to the PAC directive and paving the way for a probe. He rejoined office after a four-month “voluntary suspension”. But the CIAA in September put Thapa’s case on hold saying that it failed to gather enough evidences against him.

Published: 24-04-2016 13:50

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