At a press conference last Thursday, 10 players from the Nepal football team made a serious accusation against their head coach Abdullah Al Mutairi. According to them, the head coach imposed a dictatorship in the camp and publicly stated that the coach put mental pressure on them.
Then it’s Al Mutairi’s turn to turn to the press and tell his side of the story. On Sunday, he published a letter to football’s governing body, ANFAsaying he forgave the players and also asked ANFA not to take action against them.
Without ANFA or the Ministry of Sports investigating the controversy, Abdullah Al Mutairi, in his statement, apparently tried to prove his innocence and blame the “rebel” players for the football crisis in Nepal.
But is it so?
Attempt to prove his innocence
The players say they have no problem accepting Abdullah Al Mutairi as their coach. But for now, they say they can’t stand his misbehavior, so suddenly they leave the camp. Similarly, the Nepal Football Association (ANFA), the football governing body, is also disappointed with Al Mutairi’s misbehavior towards the players when they asked him about the substandard facilities in the camp. next to.
On the other hand, Al Mutairi is considered to be one of the most successful coaches in Nepal. During his tenure, Nepal played in the final of the SAFF Championship and reached the third round of the Asian Cup qualifiers.
Since the start of his coaching tenure, Abdullah Al Mutairi’s attitude has been questioned and controversy has always revolved around him. Although he seems to be successful on the pitch, in the dressing room he is not.
He has been using social media as a weapon to win the hearts of Nepalese football fans since the very beginning. He once again tried to show that he is innocent in the eyes of the supporters. For this, he wrote a letter to ANFA General Secretary Indra Man Tuladhar asking him not to take any action against the players he removed from the team. His letter claims that the players’ decision to leave the camp without notice has affected him.
“Please understand that the unilateral actions of the players hurt me deeply,” reads Abdullah Al Mutairi’s letter. “Furthermore, I forgive the players for their slanderous remarks towards me. I also humbly ask you not to punish these players for the mistakes they made.
Contradict the coach
The players, on the other hand, claimed that Abdullah Al Mutairi asked them to go home. Al Mutairi, who wants to establish his superiority by being kind to the players, remained silent on the accusation made against him by the latter. Rather than acknowledging the players’ allegations, he urges the authority to excuse the players.
Currently, 10 players have said they don’t want to be coached by Al Mutairi. On the other side, the coach said that these players won’t be recalled for Asian Cup squad selection due to their misconduct. The coach has already signed 17 new players and continued training in an alternative to those 10 players.
The players demanded an investigation into the matter and a punishment for the perpetrator. It is essential to recognize the perpetrator and take action against him. In this situation, however, the football regulator, ANFA, remained unconcerned.
With the ANFA election approaching, officials do not want any controversy, so they must remain on the defensive by keeping quiet. ANFA is obliged to remain indifferent to the faults of Abdullah Al Mutairi. They fear that the Qatar Football Association, Nepal’s main ally, will be disappointed.
The head coach, who resigned from the Nepal national team 10 months ago, extended his contract with the support of the Qatar Football Association. An incident like this, which happened close to the date of the ANFA elections, can affect the performance of Nepalese players in international matches.
Questioning of rights
The current controversy started with senior player Rohit Chand expressing his concerns over the ANFA hostel, where domestic players were accommodated during the Asian Cup qualifiers selection process. He demanded either that the hostel facilities be improved or that the players be moved to the hotel. Other players have also expressed their support for his plea.
Afterwards, head coach Abdullah Al Mutairi misbehaved with Chand and sent him home. While protesting the misbehavior Chand faced, other senior players also suffered similar behavior from the coach. This caused the players to leave the camp.
For a decade, ANFA hosted players in the hostel. According to the players, ANFA should be questioned for its poor management and substandard facilities for players.
Six months ago, the Nepal cricket team also witnessed a similar situation. At that time, during the dispute between players and associations, the coach supported the players.
But, in the football scene now, ANFA has received criticism from different fields for remaining indifferent.
Meanwhile, ANFA says it is working to resolve the issue that arose after the charges against Abdullah AL Mutairi.
“We have conversations with both parties. Everyone should be flexible on their side. You have to strictly fulfill your responsibility,” says Karma Tsering Sherpa, president of ANFA.