Organisers commit big but fail to keep promise

- PRAJWAL OLI, Kathmandu

Jun 13, 2019-

Tribhuvan Army Club striker Bharat Khawas received Rs 100,000 instead of a motorbike on offer for best player on the tournament of Khaptad Gold Cup in January last year. That too nearly after one and half year to the date he won the honour. Roughly the amount he received was half the value the motorcycle he was meant to receive.

The Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League concluded on January 8 this year and the best players in four different positions—goalkeeping, defense, midfield and forward along with best coach—should have received Pulsar motorbikes. But they are yet to get the awards even after five months. The league champions Manang Marshyangdi Club are yet to receive a full payment of award money. They got Rs 4.5 million but are still due Rs 500,000, according to the club President Chhimi Urgen Gurung.

Cameroonian team Dauphins Family won the sixth Pokhara Cup football tournament title on February 10. Of the total cash of Rs 755,000, they are yet to receive Rs 200,000. The team managed by Sugan Tandukar has already left for Cameroon. Tandukar’s repeated call to the organisers—Kaski District Football Association-has not bore any fruit. “We will pay” is all Tandukar hears from the organisers.

The PM Cup National One-Day cricket tournament, which concluded on Saturday, also witnessed the same case. The organisers had announced to award a motorbike to man-of-the-series. But instead they handed over Rs 50,000 to Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, the player who was declared man-of-the-series. The organisers had also committed Rs 50,000 to the best bowler, batsman and emerging player but instead handed over Rs 30,000 each. National Sports Council, the sports governing body of the country, had organised the tournament but had handed over the organising rights to Nepalaya International.

With such cases on the rise, players feel being cheated but are helpless to tackle it because they have to take the fight against mostly the sports association and in case of PM Cup, the Sports Council itself. Not a single case has been lodged against such malpractices at the All Nepal Football Association or the National Sports Council. The case makes all the more remarkable as ANFA and NSC, who are meant to look into such matters, are themselves at the centre of such ill-practices.

ANFA defended its case saying it had handed over the responsibility of providing motorcycles to Ramsar Media Pvt Ltd, who had acquired the three-year marketing and promotion rights of the league. ANFA said it was due to get Rs 10 million from Ramsar as part of the deal. But it said it has so far received just Rs 3 million and lost contact with Ramsar. “We will seek legal action against Ramsar and we are in the last phase of filing a complain,” said ANFA General Secretary Indraman Tuladhar. Tuladhar however assured that ANFA would provide Yamaha motorbikes to the players instead of Pulsar.

Whatever reasons the organisers may come up with, it is the players who are at the receiving end of such cheatings. “Games are part of players development and at the end it is the players who suffer the most,” said Amir Akhtar, managing director of Zohra International that has been organising franchise-based cricket tournaments for the last five years.

One of the best players of the Martyrs ‘A’ Division League, who is due to receive a Pulsar motorbike said: “It is really disappointing to not get the prize that the organisers commit prior to tournament.” The player asked for anonymity fearing a brunt from ANFA.

Akhtar believes such incidents mostly occur when tournament organisers make announcement of prizes even before getting commitment from their sponsors. “Its amateur to make needless commitment withour a proper homework,” said Akhtar. He urged the National Sports Council to take action against such sports associations and organisers and set basic guidelines before organising a tournament. But with the top sports governing body NSC itself at the centre of such a case, players have no other option other than to keep mum.

Published: 13-06-2019 09:15

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