Nepal’s newly appointed coach sets sights on SAAF, Asian Cup QualifiersAlmutairi was sent to Nepal by Qatar Football Association as part of the agreement with All Nepal Football Association.
Newly appointed Nepal national men's football team head coach Abudllah Almutairi on Sunday said his target would be to win the SAFF Championship and make it to the third round of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers 2023.
The Kuwaiti national, who also holds the pro coaching licence, said there was not a huge gap between the rankings of the South Asian teams and his ultimate target would be to win the SAFF Championship in September. He is appointed for a one-year term.
"We will play beautiful football in 4-3-3 formation. Our ambition will be to make it to the third round of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers 2023 and winning SAFF Championship," said the 39-year-old, who replaces Bal Gopal Maharjan from the hot seat due to the mandatory requirement that the national team coach to lead the team in World Cup Qualifiers must hold the pro licence.
Nepal have already played five among eight matches of the joint Qualifiers of the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup. Maharjan was appointed the caretaker coach after Swedish national Johan Kalin resigned in December last year owing to travel restrictions imposed in his home country.
Nepal are currently fourth in the five-team group at the joint Qualifiers with three matches to play. They are yet to play the second round matches of the Qualifiers against Australia, Jordan and Chinese Taipei. They are likely to play the matches in May and June in Qatar. Nepal could secure a place for Qualifiers of the Asian Cup if they avoided bottom place finish in the group.
Almutairi was sent to Nepal by Qatar Football Association as part of the agreement with All Nepal Football Association. Qatar FA will be responsible for his salary while ANFA will make arrangements for his stay in the country.
"If we win, I will be responsible and same is the case with defeat. But drastic change is not possible overnight in football. It takes time," said Almutairi, who also watched Nepali players’ performance during the recently concluded Three Nations Cup. "There are many talented players in the team and they could bring happiness to Nepali peoples' faces."
It will be the first senior national team assignment for Almutairi who started his coaching job in 2011. He has earlier taken charge of different age group teams including those who have earlier taken charge of youth teams in his native Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan U-16 team. Of late, he was involved with Qatar’s Al-Shahania U-23 team where he claimed to have elevated the club from eight to fourth position when he took charge of the team for the last nine matches.
According to Almutairi, he got the 'A' coaching licence, pro licence and instructor course within 14 months, describing them as a big achievement within a short time frame.