Three Star Club claim Rs 60m in damagesThree Star Club, deprived of their rights to participate in the prestigious AFC Cup football tournament thanks to the negligence of Anfa,
Three Star Club, deprived of their rights to participate in the prestigious AFC Cup football tournament thanks to the negligence of Anfa, on Tuesday sought Rs 60 million in compensation from the football governing body of Nepal for the lost opportunity.
The top-tier Nepali football club had earned qualification to the second round of the AFC Cup by winning the qualifying playoff in August, where they finished top of their three-team Group ‘B’ with four points, one point better than hosts Erchim FC of Mongolia. But Erchim FC replaced Three Star in the draw held in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday for the January 24-February 24 tournament.
AFC was forced to replace Three Star with Erchim FC after Anfa didn’t respond to the repeated reminder to register the club for the draw. After three of its written correspondence went unanswered, AFC had informed Anfa on December 6 that it “will not be able to accept your affiliated club’s (Three Star Club) entry into the competition.”
The deprivation from participating in the tournament has rocked the Lalitpur-based outfits who have poured in millions of rupees to compete in the tournament. Three Star are certain to be hit by a massive financial burden considering that they had hired a whole team one month prior to the August qualifiers in Mongolia. None of the other top-tier clubs have bothered to form their team due to the absence of domestic football league but all the players are Three Star payroll because of the impending AFC Cup in January.
Acting President of Three Star Club Arun Man Joshi said the incident will remain as one of the dark spots in Nepali football. “Its a shame for the whole football community of Nepal and not just our club and we demand harsh punishment to the guilty,” said Joshi. “By penalising the guilty individual, we hope to ensure no such embarrassing incident occur in future.”
“Years of investment and efforts have gone down the drain including millions of rupees to bring our team to this position,” said Three Star General Secretary Sanjeev Shilpakar during a press meet on Tuesday.
Shilpakar said his club is in a damage control mode and hoped that the compensation and “punishment to the guilty” will somewhat heal their wounds. Shilpakar also informed that in order to get justice their club are looking for support from clubs, the National Sports Council and sports ministry as well. “We will inform Fifa and AFC to clarify our position. They need to know that it was not our mistake to register for the tournament.”
Anfa Academy coach Bal Gopal Maharjan, who led Nepal to Bangabandhu Gold Cup title in Bangladesh last year and Jawalakhel Youth Club President Thulo Bhai KC also slammed Anfa for its negligence and sought action against the guilty party. Three Star coach Megh Raj KC said: “Its been years and years that Anfa is making such blunders. Isn’t there any authority to punish them locally? Anfa penalises individuals and clubs for their mistake and why aren’t they accountable for their own mistake.”