Asian Football Confederation approves Nepal’s request to play Kuwait home fixture in BhutanThe ANFA had proposed Bhutan as a neutral venue after Dashrath Stadium was adjudged 'unfit to hold the match after failing to meet international standards'.
Asian Football Confederation has approved the All Nepal Football Association’s proposal to hold Nepal's home fixture of the FIFA World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifiers against Kuwait at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimpu, Bhutan.
The ANFA had proposed Bhutan as a neutral venue with the international football governing body FIFA and the AFC after Dashrath Stadium was adjudged 'unfit to hold the match after failing to meet international standards' by the technical committee of AFC. The Asian football governing entity had inspected the stadium on November 5.
After playing the first four away matches in the five-team group, Nepal are placed fourth in Group ‘B’ with three points. Nepal had lost 7-0 against Kuwait before defeating Taiwan 2-0. Nepal then travelled to Australia where they suffered a 5-0 drubbing and lost 3-0 against Jordan. Nepal have scored only two goals while conceding 15.
Before the Dashrath Stadium was labelled unfit to host the match, Ramesh Silwal, the member secretary of the National Sports Council, had reiterated several times that the Stadium would be completed on time for the joint qualifier match against Kuwait. Silwal had even promised the national team that the Stadium would be ready for Kuwait match during their farewell for Australia fixture on October 2.
The stadium, however, is undergoing renovation and maintenance after suffering damage in the April 2015 earthquake. Works are underway in full swing to prepare the stadium for the upcoming South Asian Games which Nepal play host to from December 1 to 10.
Ardent followers of Nepali football have been expressing their frustrations at the social media for Nepal’s failure in hosting the match. Commenting on ANFA’s facebook post through which it made public the AFC’s approval for the switch of venue, a user writes, “It is a very sad thing to happen. Such a situation only raises further doubts regarding the development of football in Nepal. Nepal does not even have a proper stadium, it is such a pity condition!”. Another laments, “It is no fun when the ‘home’ games are played elsewhere. This is not fair and Nepali football fans deserve better! This is very saddening.”