Supreme Court gives clean chit to former footballer

Kathmandu / June 16: Upholding the verdict of the Special Court issued two years ago, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday gave a clean chit to former captain of the Nepali national football team, Sagar Thapa, and five others.

A joint bench of justices Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Bam Kumar Shrestha gave the clean chit to them, while raising questions over the legal grounds of the case itself.

After the apex court’s verdict, Thapa expressed happiness, saying that the truth had eventually prevailed. “Who will evaluate the time, labor and hard work? The government or ANFA?” he asked in his facebook post.

The then captain Thapa, vice-captain Sandip Rai, goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa, defender Bikash Singh Chhetri and coach Anjan KC along with physiotherapist Dejiv were arrested on October 15, 2015 on the charge of match-fixing in international games that Nepal played, sending shockwaves through the Nepali sports fraternity.

The five footballers were arrested on the charge of match-fixing in international tournaments between 2008 and 2014, in return for hefty amounts. They have remained banned from football activities by ANFA and AFC until a new ruling.

Earlier in June 2018, the Special Court had given a clean chit to former football team captain Thapa and the five others.

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