Prime Minister Cup football teams announced

KATHMANDU, March 1 - A six-member selection committee announced a 40-strong Nepali squad for the upcoming Prime Minister Cup Invitational Football Tournament, at the ANFA complex on Sunday.

The 40 players selected from among the pool of 59 chosen for the recently concluded Aaha Gold Cup, Budda Subba Gold Cup and First Invitational Martyrs' Football Championship, have been divided into two teams -- Nepal Red and Nepal Blue. The two teams will vie for the title along with four others teams from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Thailand in the championship scheduled to held in Dashrath Stadium from March. 5-15.

Yogamber Suwal is coaching Nepal Red consisting of skipper Rakesh Shrestha, Bikash Malla, Ritesh Thapa, Samit Rajbhandari, Anjan K.C., Sagar Thapa, Biraj Maharjan, Santosh Gurung, Chun Bahadur Thapa, Suman Subedi, Raju Tamang, Snadeep Rai, Navin Neupane, Khum Gurung, Ranjeet Shrestha, Bishal Gauchan, Jumanu Rai, Anil Gurung, Nirajan Raimajhi and Bijay Gurung.

Nepal Blue is headed by captain Basanta Gauchan and has Kiran Kumar Limbu, Rupak Shrestha and Dinesh Thapa under the bars. Rohit Chand, Nur Raj Kafle, Deepak Bhusal, Sabindra Shrestha, Sanjeev Budathoki, Bikash Singh Chettri, Anil Ojha, Dipendra Shrestha, Bhola Silwal, Santosh Nepal, Chetan Ghimire, Yugal Kishor Rai, Santosh Saukhala, Nirajan Malla and Deepak Rai are the other players. The squad is under the guidance of Baiju Kapali.

"We have named a balanced squad for the event," Nepal Red's Coach Yogamber Suwal said. "The selection committee will announce the playing squad in two days." The committee, which includes Yogamber Suwal, Baiju Kapali, Kishor K.C., Bal Gopal Maharjan, Mrigendra Mishra and Upendra Man Singh is confident that this event will help groom players for the AFC Challenge Cup scheduled for later this year. However, the committee admitted that Nepal Red consisted of players with more international exposures than Nepal Blue.

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