16 April 2009

Ganesh Thapa's Gold Medal

Lots of people have been asking me for my opinion on ANFA President Ganesh Thapa receiving the AFC Service Award - Gold Medal. My answer is simple - he deserves it, as he meets the criteria for the award (30 years of service to Asian Football) and has been a very active member of the AFC and South Asian Football Federation (SAFF).

I feel a lot of Thapa's strong points - his organization skills, iconic stature, and international relation skills are often under appreciated by people. Please find me someone else in the Nepali sports sector who has similar talents - I have yet to come across anyone.

Now that is not to say everything that Thapa has done is perfect and there is not room for improvement. Certainly, Thapa needs to improve on his delegation of responsibilities to others, as often ANFA is a one man show - occasionally bereft of fresh ideas. He also has to work on toning-down his fiery temperament which creates quick enemies and has brought about gridlock in Nepali football on more than one occasion.

Thapa on receiving the award said, "I vow to work with more dedication for the development of Nepali football". Let us demand that indeed the award will fuel a new period of great success for Nepali football.


  1. Nepal itself never won Gold Medal in any of the AFC criteria tournaments but he won it. Anyway all the Nepalese football lovers must be satisfy with it.

  2. I am happy for ANFA president Ganesh Thapa for the recognition bestowed on him by AFC in the form of AFC service award.His contribution to Nepali football, especially as a regular memember of the national team during his entire active career was invaluable.When he took over ANFA ten years ago there was great optimism in the air. He did start on a positive note but failed to keep the momentum going.As a policy maker and an adminstrator he has been a huge, huge disappointment.A person of his stature and connection could have done a lot more for Nepali football.Instead he chose to take a different course and has spent more time working to solidify his status in AFC. Expectedly he quickly worked himself to prominence in AFC. He has been able to dictate terms to date because of his AFC status.I strongly feel AFC is another political arena. For example the run-up to the election for the vacant Asian seat on the FIFA executive committee has led to a deep division between various factions within AFC. I disagree with Mr Biplav's portrayal of Mr Thapa as an able adminstrator. I cannot think of names at the moment but there are a host of competent and able personalities who qualify for the hot seat.

  3. my comment was that he is an able organizer. Nepal has consistently done a great job hosting AFC tournaments and thus was nominated for AFC Association of the Year a few years back. I feel that is a credit to Thapa's organizational abilities as he has the contacts and persona to pull things together.

    As for other able administrators in Nepal, of course there are many - but in the Nepali sports sector, I have not come across anyone so far. To my surprise I have met many athletes from sports which I felt were well governed telling me they wished they had a association president like Ganesh Thapa.

    I don't mean this to be a Thapa love fest. As I said in my original post, there are weaknesses in his arsenal as well, and certainly until those areas are developed, Nepali football will be at a standstill.