Kathmandu, 15 Oct 2009 - The Sunrise Bank inked the sponsorship deal for group ´B´ qualifiers of the upcoming AFC U-19 Championship on Thursday to be held in Kathmandu from October 25 to November 9.
The Sunrise Bank as the main sponsor will provide a cash support of Rs 1.5million to the host All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) to conduct the tournament. ANFA president Ganesh Thapa and assistant general manager of the Bank Asha Adhikary signed the agreement on behalf of their respective institutions. The tournament will now be named Sunrise Bank Limited AFC U-19 Championship.
Altogether five national teams including Tajikistan, Jordan, Yemen, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan and the host Nepal are slated to participate in the tournament. Three matches will be held per day for five days including two in Dasharath Stadium and one in APF Ground, Halchowk. The top two teams of the qualifiers will advance into the final round of tournament to be held next year.
Speaking at the function, ANFA president Thapa lauded Sunrise Bank for its support to the tournament. “Lack of finance was a challenge. But with support from all sides -- the government, the sports ministry and other institutions - we hope to conduct the tournament successfully,” Thapa said. He also informed that the Ministry of Finance has granted Rs 3 million as support to the recently held U-16 and upcoming U-19 tournaments. Thapa also expressed confidence that the qualifiers would be successfully conducted. “We have recently hosted U-16 and we will successfully host the U-19.”
Thapa, however, lamented on the performance of U-16 team in the recently concluded U-16 qualifiers. Nepal faced defeats in all the matches and secured last position in the five team qualifiers that concluded on Tuesday. “This is the worst defeat Nepal ever faced at home,” Thapa said. “The ANFA will conduct research regarding U-16 teams” he said. He also expressed hope that the U-19 team would perform better in the qualifiers.