AFC U-16 qualifiers set to begin Monday

2 Oct 2009 - The chief coach of the U-16 national football squad Dambar Gurung on Friday said that Nepal would leave no stone unturned to top AFC U-16 Championship group ´B´ qualifiers to be held at the Dasharath Stadium from Monday.

The 11-day long qualifiers will feature six national teams-- host Nepal, Iran, Bahrain, Lebanon, Tajikistan and Maldives. “Our main aim will be to qualify for the final round as a group winner. However, if we failed to secure the first place, we will try to secure place for the final round as the runners up,” Gurung said at a press meet organized by the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) in the Dasharath Stadium on Friday.

Among the 46 member nations of the Asian Football Confederation 45 are taking part in the U-16 tournament. Six teams each are fielded in group A to G each, whereas group H consists of three teams. Top two teams from each group other than group ´H´ will qualify for the final round of the tournament from the round robin system. Only the winner will qualify for the final round in group H. The venue for the final round to be held next year is yet to be finalized.

Gurung expressed his confidence that his team had a strong mid-field but lamented on the weak finishing of the forwards. “We have strong mid-field team but our scoring is weak, but, all the teams participating in the tourney has problem in scoring so we need not worry much.”

Gurung has dubbed Iran as the most powerful opponent for the home team. Two years ago the present U-16 team had lost a match 1-0 and played 1-1 draw in another game against Iran. Nepal has finalized 23 players for the tournament.

Three matches per day will be held for five days--two matches each in Dasharath Stadium and one match in the APF Ground, Halchowk. Nepal will play all its matches in Dasharath Stadium. Nepal will take on Lebanon in its first match on Monday.

Meanwhile, the ANFA on Friday said that the management for the AFC U-16 qualifiers slated to start three days later was in the last phase. ANFA general secretary Dhirendra Pradhan said that all the teams will be in Kathmandu by Sunday. Bahrain team has already arrived on September 25.

Pradhan also informed that Asian Football Confederation has sent technical manpower including match commissioner, referee assessor, medical officer, FIFA referees and assistant referees. For security reasons, audiences will not be allowed to enter the ground with water bottle, helmet, lighter, inflammable materials, pen and bottles. The entry fee is Rs 200 and Rs 100.

ANFAJustify Full vice president and spokesperson Lalit Krishna Shrestha said that the cost for hosting the tournament was enormous. The ANFA has fulfilled the process for asking support from the government of Nepal and the government was positive regarding their proposal. The expected cost for the tournament is 8.951 millions. The ANFA has also been holding talks with entrepreneurs for sponsorship deal and entrepreneurs were positive regarding that, Shrestha said.

No comments: