Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Disgraceful game



At the end, the jumbo team of Nepali sports officials returned home, proud of the one bronze medal won by boxer Deepak Maharjan. The 16th Asian Games became a sad memory for Nepali sports lovers. They only played audience to the tug-of-war between officials of the country's highest two sports institutions the National Sports Council (NSC) and Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC). While the players were training, these officials were calculating how much they could earn on commissions. This clearly reflected on the performance of the players. But rather than the failure of the players, it was the public tussle between NSC and NOC that shamed the country in the international arena.

Even after the prime minister had bid them farewell, the players were stranded in Nepal. While the officials and their relatives enjoyed transit-free air tickets from the organisers, those meant to play at the games had to endure over 10 hours of transit to reach Guangzhou in China. NOC's treasurer has revealed that the committee's president Dhurba Bahadur Pradhan pocketed a hefty commission on the tickets. It is hard to say who benefited from Rs 800,000 taken from the Player Welfare Fund to finance the tickets.

The drama continued even after they reached Guangzhou. NOC's Pradhan and Jeevan Ram Shrestha enjoyed a seven-star hotel while they put Sports Minister Ganesh Tiwari and members of the NSC in a four-star hotel. At the competition, two officials held up a banner for 'Save the Mission', turning our country into a laughing stock in front of the international community.

Nepal's team at the 16th Asian Games comprised 100 players but there were five times as many officials. It's clear that the majority were there just to enjoy a foreign trip and made no contribution to the Games. Instead of being concerned about the poor performance of the players, the officials were out shopping and sightseeing.

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LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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