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Special Court acquits five match-fixing accused former footballers

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KATHMANDU — The Special court has acquitted five former footballers accused of match-fixing in national and international games and their alleged nexus with bookies.

Hearing the case on Thursday, a bench of judges Baburam Regmi, Pramod Kumar Baiddha and Narayan Prasad Pokharel acquitted match-fixing-accused former captain of national football team Sagar Thapa, Sandip Rai, Ritesh Thapa, Anjan KC, Bikash Singh Kshetri, and team physiotherapist Dejiv Thapa.

They were arrested on October 14, 2015 for match fixing. Then a case was filed against them for conspiring against the state. But they were released on bail on November 10 last year.

The alleged footballers facing subversion charges for their alleged involvement in match-fixing of the international games that Nepal played were released on bail, on November 10, 2015.

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Anjan and Ritesh paid Rs 500,000, Sagar paid Rs 150,000, and the rest paid Rs 50,000, respectively as bail.

Asian football regulatory body had reportedly found the three footballers and one coach guilty of violating article 62 and 69 of the AFC Disciplinary Code in relation to various friendly international matches between 2008 to 2012.

The accused had admitted their involvement in match fixing of international football matches since 2008 to the police officials. However, they had refuted the indictment made against them in the court.

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SAFF U-15 women’s championship begins today; India face Sri Lanka in inaugural match

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THIMPU — Six under 15 teams from Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal are participating the second edition of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-15 Women’s championship, Thimphu that is kicking off from Thursday.

India and Sri Lanka are facing each other in an inaugural game at the Changlingmithang stadium. The match is taking place at Thimphu-based Changlimithang Stadium at 4:00 pm local time.

Similarly, Bangladesh and Pakistan under Group B are facing each other in the second game scheduled at 7:00 pm local time today itself.

At the pre press conference held in Thimphu on Wednesday, the coaches and team captains from six countries said that SAFF U-15 Women’s championship 2018 would be the toughest championship.

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Of the six countries, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are taking part in the championship for the first time. Bhutan is hosting the 10-day championship for the first time.

Bangladesh had won the title by defeating India 1-0 in the first edition of the Championship held in Bangladesh.

Nepal’s 32-member women’s football team had left Tuesday for Bhutan to play in the Second U-15 SAFF Championship Women Football.

The team comprises 23 players, three coaches, five officials and one sports journalist. Nepal is placed in Group B of the Championship. Nepal will play against Pakistan on August 11 in the first game and against Bangladesh on August 13.

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