Kathmandu, November 16
The All Nepal Football Association today took disciplinary action against four national team players and barred them from travelling to Bhutan, where Nepal play Kuwait in the return leg match of the joint qualifiers of the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup. The match will be played at Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu on Tuesday
Nepal were forced to play their home match on neutral venue after the Asian Football Confederation did not approve Dasharath Stadium for the match. The stadium is undergoing renovation for next month’s 13th South Asian Games.
Nepal had faced a 7-0 drubbing in the first leg match and the team flew to Bhutan today without the four players — striker Bimal Gharti Magar and midfielders Anjan Bista, Santosh Tamang and Dinesh Rajbanshi. They were axed from the team after they were found to have spent a night in Thamel’s discos and clubs on the eve of the team’s departure for Thimphu.
ANFA Spokesperson Kiran Rai said the four players were dropped for the match against Kuwait and further action would be taken after thorough investigation. “They violated team discipline and remained outside till late in the night. We also received information that they were drunk,” said Rai. “We’ll investigate the matter thoroughly and decide what further action needs to be taken,” he added.
Rai said the four players were ousted from the squad after consulting Head Coach Johan Kalin, who had announced the 22-member squad for the Kuwait match yesterday. Kalin flew to Bhutan with 19 players after adding Subash Gurung to the squad. “The team went to Bhutan today and we have asked Kalin to assess the situation after reaching Thimphu. We’ll send replacements as per coach Kalin’s requirement,” added Rai.
Apart from Subash Gurung, the team includes goalkeepers Kiran Kumar Limbu, Bikesh Kuthu and Bishal Shrestha; defenders Saroj Dahal, Devendra Tamang, Ananta Tamang, Suman Aryal, Ajit Bhandari and Ranjit Dhimal; midfielders Sunil Bal, Bikram Lama, Ravishankar Paswan, Mikchhen Tamang, Rohit Chand, Sujal Shrestha, Tej Tamang; and forwards Bharat Khawash, Nawayug Shrestha and Abishekh Rijal.
This is not the first time that Nepali footballers breached discipline ahead of international participation, but it is the first time ANFA has acted strongly against the players. The ANFA had time and again failed to take action against players for violating rules and regulations despite forming probe committees in the past.
Nepal have already played all four away matches of the joint qualifiers of the two tournaments. They are fourth in the five-team table with just one win. After hosting Kuwait, Nepal will face Chinese Taipei and Australia in March before playing against Jordan in June. Dasharath Stadium is expected to be ready to host the three remaining home matches.
Written by Sandeep Sen
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/sports/four-footballers-kicked-out-of-squad/ under the title “Four footballers kicked out of squad”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.