The 17th Asian Games Work Execution Committee under the Ministry of Youth and Sports Sunday decided to suspend the four Nepali players who went AWOL (absence without leave) during the Incheon Asiad in South Korea from all sports-related activities for 10 years.
Sepak takrow player Aman Pode, Wushu players Sombir Tamang and Nirajan Ale Magar, and athlete Tilak Ram Tharu (selected for 200 m and 400 m) had left the Asian Games athlete’s village without permission and failed to return or make contact. The Incheon Asiad was held in Incheon and other locations in South Korea from September 19 to October 20, 2014.
The committee said in a statement that its meeting held in Kathmandu on Sunday, October 19, 2014, made the decision as the missing players who had been selected to represent the country and make it proud had instead brought the nation into disrepute.
According to the statement, signed by the committee’s secretary Chudamani Paudel — a joint-secretary at the youth and sports ministry and former acting Member-Secretary of the National Sports Council (NSC), Sunday’s meeting also decided to expel the coaches and managers of the missing players and bar them from being involved in all international sports events for a year, and will recommend the NSC to take departmental action against them.
Likewise, the committee said it would also seek clarification from the players’ respective national associations.
Looking towards the future, the committee said it would also work to form a working strategy for restructuring the wider sports sector of the country and brining in reforms following experience from the Asiad as per direction of the Legislature-Parliament’s Public Account Committee (PAC). The Ministry for Youth and Sports would take the initiative for the same, the committee said.
The committee said it would ask the youth and sports ministry to find solutions to end disputes, controversies, weakness and other problems plaguing Nepali sports.
According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report, apart from Nepal, two players from Sri Lanka and one each from Bangladesh and Palestine also went missing. The players’ South Korean visas officially expired on Sunday, October 19, 2014, according to the AFP report.