Anfa fetes Solidarity Cup championsAll Nepal Football Association (Anfa) on Tuesday felicitated the AFC Solidarity Cup winning Nepali national football team on Tuesday.
All Nepal Football Association (Anfa) on Tuesday felicitated the AFC Solidarity Cup winning Nepali national football team on Tuesday. All 28 members of the team including 23 players and five officials received Rs 300,000 each almost a year after winning the maiden title organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Nepal had won the Solidarity Cup in Kuching, Malaysia, last year in November defeating Macau 1-0 in the final.
The Nepali team was led by head coach Gyotoku Koji of Japan and captained by Biraj Maharjan in the event contested by seven lower-tier teams of Asia. Raju Kaji Shakya was the assistant to Koji and Ujwal Manandhar the goalkeeping coach in the tournament. Birat Jung Shahi was manager and Suraj Bhusal the physiotherapist. The Solidarity Cup success also paved way for Nepal to earn a place the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers currently being played under home and away format. Due to the withdrawal of Guam and the suspension of Kuwait, the AFC decided to invite both Nepal and Macau to re-enter 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification as replacements in order to maintain 24 teams in the third round of the competition.
Anfa also gave away cash of Rs 25,000 each to the U-15 team who finished second in the Saff Championship. Nepal had gone down 2-1 against India in the final played at the Anfa Complex on August 27. Coach Sunil Shrestha, goalkeeping coach Bikash Malla and manager Rabindra Joshi jointly received the check on behalf of the 28-member team. The team consisted of 23 players and four officials including technical director Takeda Chiaki and physiotherapist Raju Dahal.
Anfa President Narendra Shrestha apologised for the delay in rewarding the champions. “We got the opportunity to compete in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers because of our success in the Solidarity Cup. We should utilise the Qualifiers as an opportunity to perform better. I believe that the team will fare even better in the days ahead,” Shrestha said.