Accused Nepal footballers deny match-fixing

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Sagar Thapa Nepal

national team captain Sagar Thapa and goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa are among five players who were taken into custody last month.

Nepal’s national football captain, goalkeeper and three other players charged with treason appeared in court and denied any involvement in alleged match-fixing in World Cup qualifiers, an official said.

Skipper Sagar Thapa and goalkeeper Ritesh Thapa are among five players who recorded their statements in court after being taken into custody last month following a series of arrests in the capital.

“While recording their statements, the players denied any involvement in match-fixing and proclaimed their innocence,” Bhadrakali Pokharel, Registrar at the Special Court in Kathmandu, which is hearing the case, told AFP.

Prosecutors sought life sentences for all five after they were charged on Sunday under a 1989 act against unlawfully jeopardising Nepal’s sovereignty, integrity or national unity.

No media were allowed inside, but Pokharel told AFP each player spoke for about half an hour before the court moved to begin a bail hearing.

The bail hearing will continue on Tuesday, he said, adding that no further details of the players’ statements would be released until the court arrived at a decision.

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