In June 2018, the special court had given a clean chit to former Nepal skipper Sagar Thapa and five others (including a coach) in the case of treason against state.
Nepal Police had arrested then captain Thapa, vice-captain Sandip Rai, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa, defender Bikash Singh Chhetri and coach Anjan KC on match fixing case. Physiotherapist Dejib Thapa was in USA when the police crackdowned the players in Kathmandu. Former IGP Sarbendra Khanal led the case.
Police claimed that the players had agreed their involvement during investigation but the players and the coach later denied the wrongdoing in their statement in the court.
Today, the supreme court upheld the verdict of special court. The court raised questions on the legal grounds of the case. A joint bench of justices; Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Bam Kumar Shrestha made the decision.
Players were acquitted as there were no anti match-fixing laws at the time of case. Government of Nepal has now criminalised match-fixing in sport, based on the 2015 case. The new law can put players into bar for minimum of three years if they are found guilty in match fixing.
The Nepal police claimed that the players were involved in match-fixing in international tournaments from 2008 till 2014, taking large amount of money.
AFC handed life ban to the players and the coach, finding them guilty in the cases.
What next ?
ANFA can play a big role here.
The FA can lobby to AFC & FIFA asking them to reduce the ban to the players.
Since, time duration for filing a case in Court of Arbitration for Sport had already been expired, players can talk to AFC/FIFA appeal committee or find good lawyer to challenge the decision made by the governing bodies.
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