Futsal banned in Kathmandu Valley

Futsal, which literally means ‘room football,’ originated in the inner cities of South American states and was first played indoors in Uruguay in around 1930 AD. An Argentinean named Juan Carlos Ceriani had invented the game to practice football indoors and was enthusiastically adopted across South America. Futsal is played between two teams of five players each and the court has a minimum dimension of 25×16 square meters or a maximum of 42×25 sq m.

The ban has drawn strong criticism in social networking cites with the demand to lift the prohibition at the earliest.

According to the Metropolitan Police Range Office, Teku, the police were compelled to clamp down on futsal after repeated complaints from all quarters of society. The police said most of the complaints were filed by concerned guardians who were worried about illegal betting in futsal venues, bunking of schools and colleges by their wards and increasing intake of drugs and alcohols among the youths. Operating matches till late nights have also been disturbing the locals.

“Majority of futsal entrepreneurs were found not to have registered their company at respective government offices. In addition to that, there is no regulatory body to systematize, regulate and monitor futsal activities,” said SSP Bikram Singh Thapa, chief of Metropolitan Police Range Office, Kathmandu.

SSP Thapa also said that majority of over 200 futsals in Kathmandu Valley have not fulfilled the basic criteria of installing futsal courts.

“There should be a referee or some instructors while operating futsal matches but this has been missing,” said SSP Thapa. The police said they made repeated attempts to regulate futsal but failed to do so.

Following the ban on futsal, a group of futsal entrepreneurs led a delegation to the Kathmandu District Administration Office requesting it to withdraw its decision to ban futsal activities.

Former national football team captain Hari Khadka, who also operates futsal club in Kathmandu, said that it was unjust to ban all the futsals for the faults of a few of them.

“We are ready to come under a regulatory mechanism but the sudden ban is not a solution,” Khadka said.

Chief District Officer of Kathmandu, Ram Krishna Subedi, said that he would soon hold a comprehensive meeting with all stakeholders of futsal and lift the ban after formulating a regulatory mechanism to systematize the growing business.

Earlier, a committee to deal with and regulate futsal-related activities was formed by All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) but the procedure was disrupted due to the devastating earthquake of April.

“None of the futsal entrepreneurs are affiliated to ANFA,” said the football governing body’s General Secretary Dhirendra Pradhan, stressing on the need of a regulatory mechanism to bring the futsal clubs on track.

Source: My Republica


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