Nepal football controversy: 10 players leave training, accuse coach of ill-treatment

Nepal football players host a press conference, in Kathmandu, on Thursday, April 28, 2022.
Nepal football players host a press conference, in Kathmandu, on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Kathmandu, April 28

Just before the national football team were due to leave to take part in the Asia Cup Qualifiers, 10 members of the Nepal football team have left the camp.

The players say that they were compelled to leave the camp due to Nepal’s national team coach Abdullah Al Mutairi.

“We wanted to solve the issue internally. But, because fingers are being pointed at us, we have decided to speak about the issue openly,” the Nepal football players issued a public statement amid a press meet in Kathmandu on Thursday, one day after leaving the training.

Rohit Chand, Anjan Bista, Bimal Gharti Magar, Ananta Tamang, Bishal Rai, Bishal Shrestha, Sujal Shrestha, Tej Tamang, Dinesh Rajbanshi and Suman Lama left the hotel they were being kept at.

The players say that they were left disappointed by the way the coach spoke to them when they demanded basic rights for the players.

“We are proud to represent Nepal. We love it so much that we sometimes disregard the club career that is important to us financially and play for the country whenever called upon. But, the way we have been treated by the coach is disgusting,” the Nepal footballers’ statement reads.

They say that the disagreement started when Chand asked the coach where they were staying. When the coach told them that the players would stay in ANFA’s hostel, Chand said the players needed to stay in a better facility as the hostel belonging to the Nepal football governing body did not have proper facilities.

The players say that when Chand stood up against this, the coach told him if he did not want to stay in the hostel, he could leave. The coach talking to senior players like Chand did not go down well with other players who supported Chand. Al Mutairi then asked everyone who was supporting Chand to leave.

“We wanted to hold discussions with the coach, but he doesn’t listen. Nor does ANFA and that is why we had to leave. We didn’t leave because we didn’t want to. We left because we weren’t being treated well,” reads their report.

The players also accused the coach of telling them that he would not choose them until he remained the head coach of the national team.

“He told us that we started a war, but he will end it,” the players say in their statement.

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