Nepal arrest national players over match-fixing

Nepali police have arrested five current and former national football players on suspicions of match-fixing, including in the World Cup qualifiers four years ago, police said on Thursday. Police arrested national team captain Sagar Thapa, footballers Sandip Rai and Ritesh Thapa, and two former players Bikash Singh Chhetri and Anjan KC on Wednesday for alleged involvement in match fixing spanning eight years.

Nepal captain Sagar Thapa (left) is one of the players arrested for match fixing, suspected during the World Cup qualifiers in 2011 and even in friendly matches.   -  PTI

Nepali police have arrested five current and former national football players on suspicions of match-fixing, including in the World Cup qualifiers four years ago, police said on Thursday.

Police arrested national team captain Sagar Thapa, footballers Sandip Rai and Ritesh Thapa, and two former players Bikash Singh Chhetri and Anjan KC on Wednesday for alleged involvement in match-fixing spanning eight years.

“We’ve recorded banking transactions amounting to millions between them and international match-fixers, including those in Malaysia and Singapore,” said Sarbendra Khanal, chief of Metropolitan Police Crime Division in Kathmandu.

Khanal said they suspect match-fixing in 2011 World Cup qualifiers and even in friendly matches.

“Our investigations will continue and we are discussing what charges they will face,” he said.

The arrests come a year after Nepal’s powerful football chief Ganesh Thapa temporarily stepped down from his post after allegations emerged he embezzled millions of dollars and accepted bribes during his 19-year tenure.

The FIFA Ethics Committee launched an investigation last year into Thapa, a former Asian Football Confederation Vice-President, with a decision still pending.