New Delhi: All Nepal Football Association has charged five footballers, including its national captain and goalkeeper, with treason over alleged match-fixing in World Cup qualifiers in 2011.
According to reports an offical of the Nepal Football Association stated that, “The government has charged the five players arrested last month with treason and has sought a life sentence as punishment,” Bhadrakali Pokharel, Registrar at the Special Court in Kathmandu, which is hearing the case, said.
Amongst the five players charged, skipper Sagar Thapa and goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa were taken into custody last month. Detectives said later on that their investigations found sums ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 deposited in the players’ bank accounts.
Police stated earlier that the footballers have been suspected of involvement in match-fixing over an eight-year period, including several games played in 2011 as part of Nepal’s unsuccessful bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Officials are investigating several matches that include Nepal's 0-9 loss against Jordan as well as games with Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
In addition to the skipper and goalkeeper, defender Sandip Rai and former players Bikash Singh Chhetri and Anjan KC were also detained after police uncovered banking transactions between the footballers and international match fixers, including those based in Malaysia and Singapore.
(With Agency inputs)