July 21 – Controversial Nepal president and AFC vice president’s Ganesh Thapa, who was banned for 10 years for bribery by FIFA, has come under fire from the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum for abusing a reporter.
In an open letter issued by the journalists’ association, Prakash Timilsina (editor of Hamro Khelkud) is said to have been “mistreated by Mr. Ganesh Thapa (former President of All Nepal Football Association) and his son Mr. Abhishek Thapa.”
Timilsina called Thapa to get a comment on a long-time personal helper of Thapa, who worked at Thapa’s village home but who was technically on the Nepal FA payroll. The helper claimed to have been abused by Thapa.
Thapa responded to the questions over the phone by abusing Timilsina. His son Abhishek, later spoke to Timilsina, similarly abusing him.
In its letter from Prajwal Oli, General Secretary, of the association, the association call for “physical protection”, saying: “The Forum strongly condemns this mistreatment of journalist Timilsina during a phone conversation that occurred solely to collect news. The Forum denounces the mistreatment of its member.
“This incident has drawn the Forum’s serious attention towards the physical security of all its members. The Forum would also like to attract the attention of the Government of Nepal, Nepal Journalist Federation, International Sports Press Association (AIPS), and AIPS Asia towards this incident.
“The Forum cannot be a silent observer of this incident as it is an attack on press freedom and freedom of expression. Similarly, we demand the guarantee of security of all sports journalists from the Government.”
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