KATHMANDU, Jan 6: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday said the government has requested the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to resolve the controversy over the legitimacy of two Olympic committees led by Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan and Rukma Shumsher Rana.
Prime Minister Bhattarai, inaugurating the newly-constructed semi-covered hall at the National Sports Council (NSC) premises, said the government does not have authority to interfere in the controversy over the two Olympic committees. "Existence of two Olympic bodies in the country has created trouble and tarnished the image of the country. As the government has no authority to interfere, we have asked the International Olympic Committee to find a solution," said Bhattarai.
Earlier, All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President Ganesh Thapa had urged Prime Minister Bhattarai to take up the issue seriously. "If NSC feels there are financial irregularities within NOC, the government can form a probe committee and take action," he added. Thapa claimed that NOC has repeatedly been dragged into controversy as some officials have not taken the sports sector seriously.
Semi-covered hall named after Olympians
NSC has named the newly-constructed semi-covered hall "Olympian Semi-covered Hall" in the memory of late Olympians Bhupendra Silwal and Ganga Bahadur Thapa.
Silwal and Thapa had participated in the marathon event during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, when Nepal participated in the biggest sporting event for the first time.
"Despite having limited resources, the government is determined to develop sports infrastructure. We have forwarded a plan for building semi-covered halls in 25 districts," said Prime Minister Bhattarai. "Sports should be made compulsory in school curriculum and the government is committed to implementing the idea."
The prime minister has also directed the concerned authorities to come up with social security programs for athletes.
NSC Vice-president Pitambar Timalsina and Treasurer Indra Bahadur Thing applauded the government and prime minister for continuous support to plans and programs forwarded by the NSC board.