Former national goalkeeper Lok Bahadur Shahi diesThe 65-old was member of the gold medal winning team during the first SAF games in 1984 and considered one of the best in his position the country has produced.
Former national team goalkeeper Lok Bahadur Shahi died on Sunday evening at his hometown Chaurata in Dailekh.
According to All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President Karma Tsering Sherpa, Shahi died due to multiple organ failure. The 65-year-old was the member of the nation team that won gold in 1984 in the first SAF Games held in Kathmandu.
Considered as one of the best goalkeepers Nepal has ever had, he represented the national side from 1979 to 1989 and also played in international tournaments from 1982 to 1989.
His playing career lasted for 14 years from 1976 to 1989.
Apart from playing, Shahi was also involved in football administration as the general secretary of ANFA from 1995 to 2002. He also served as general secretary at the Nepal Boxing Association for two terms from 2003 to 2011 and was the founding president of Nepal Ice Hockey Association.
Shahi was one of the key members of the then Mahendra Police club (now Nepal Police Club) during 1980s when the team was the best in the country.
He also played for 'A' division outfit Friends Club.
"Shahi was one of the key members of the team that founded the RNAC football team during the 1980s," recalls Sanjiv Mishra, football analyst and the director of the football league that ANFA runs.
Recalling him as a competent manager, soft spoken and an impressive personality, Mishra, who had close relations with Shahi, claims him to be the first person to bring private sector's investment in football.
"Shahi lured private investment in Nepali football for the first time in 1992 when he was a key person in organising the Wai Wai Cup. The following year he was successful in running the TAAN Cup," said Mishra.
While there was no league and other domestic football in the country from 1989 to 1995 due to infighting at ANFA, Shahi gave a new life to Nepali football.
He formed Nepal Sports Development Association and collected almost all national football in the body.
"He formed a football team and took them to compete in prestigious tournaments in India and Bhutan like DCM Cup, Rovers Cup, CM Cup and others," said Mishra. "In fact, he is a person who dedicated his whole life to sports."
Shahi, survived by two daughters, a son and a wife was cremated in Dailekh on Monday.
ANFA President Sherpa said that the football fraternity was greatly shocked by the demise of Shahi. "His death is a great loss to Nepali football," said Sherpa.
Former ANFA President Ganesh Thapa who played alongside Thapa, on a Facebook post said: "I am deeply saddened by the untimely death of my friend Shahi whom I worked closely with at ANFA and played with him in the national team. Nepali sports has lost a good manager. His contributions both as a player and manager will be remembered. I express heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and pray for his eternal peace."