Anil’s English dreams over

15 September 2009 - Anil Gurung's hopes of becoming the first Nepali to play football with an English Club ended for at least a season after he was denied a work permit by the UK government, a source said on Monday. It was bitter luck for Gurung as he had earned a place in the reserve team of Woking Football Club - the outfit he had been training with for the last couple of months.

Gurung's work permit in England was made difficult after the international transfer window ended in August. He now has to wait for another four months when the 'January transfer' season begins in the UK. Gurung, who had reached Surrey, England in June for a trail at Woking Club -- a sixth division side in England — was once featured in starting lineup of the club. His goal scoring record was impressive with four goals in six matches.

After that he was included in the reserve team by coach Graham Baker, who was once a midfielder of the famous Manchester City.

“Players are asked to produce International Transfer Certificates to get transferred, which I did not have,” said the 21-year-old Anil. He said he had requested for an ITC from the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA), but it never came.

ANFA officials in Kath-mandu narrate a different account. ANFA spokesperson Lalit Krishna Shrestha said: “The English Football Association never asked us for an ITC. We are not supposed to provide it until the FA asks for it.”

FIFA's strict rules regarding the work permit for players from countries ranked below 60 in FIFA ranking also made life difficult for Anil.

Anil, who is currently on a tourist visa in England, is now prepared to return to Kathmandu. “I am sad that my first attempt was not fruitful,” said Anil. “Players in England are full of life. They have the confidence to play well against any side. I have learned a lot from my short stint there.”

Earlier, Anil had shunned an offer amounting to IRs. 600,000 annually from Lanjong Sports Club, a recent entrant in the Indian Professional league, to go for a trail in the UK.

source: The Kathmandu Post

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