Biggest knock out tourney in offing

source: The Kathmandu Post

Kathmandu, 04 Dec 2009 - Nepali football is bracing for its biggest knock out tournament in terms of prize money as the British Gurkha Group singed a deal with the All Nepal Football Association on Thursday to organise the British Gurkha Cup from Dec. 19-Jan. 13 at the Dashrath Stadium.

In the three-year deal singed by the ANFA president Ganesh Thapa and president of British Gurkha D.B. Bomjan, the company has promised Rs. 2 million for the tournament, which is estimated to cost around Rs. 4 million.

The announcement comes at a time when Nepali football is without any competitive tournament. The new tournament is expected to serve as a curtain raiser to the national league. Twelve top flight clubs from Kathmandu and four teams from the four other development regions will compete in the event which will be played in a league-cum-knock out basis.

More than the tournament pitting top-flight clubs of the country head-to-head after many years, the prize money will add some extra glamour to it. According to the ANFA, the winner will bag Rs. 1 million, followed by Rs. 500,000 for the runners-up. That is not all. The four semifinalists will be awarded Rs. 100,000 each. Apart from that there is Rs. 50,000 each to be won for the best midfielder, best forward, best defender and best goalkeeper. ANFA will also provide Rs. 50,000 each to the 16 participating clubs as preparation fund.

"We had promised Nepali football fans to work for the development of football after ANFA elections. This tournament is the first step towards that goal," said Thapa. "The tournament will also help the clubs prepare for the national league."

What started as a corporate tournament organised by the British Gurkha Group for recreation two years ago has morphed into a mega event. And the organisers hope to make it even bigger by inviting international teams in the coming years, said D.B Bomjan. "We want it to be a regional tournament with top teams from South Asia."

Bomjan added that the company decided to work for the development of sports not being able to stand the sorry state of sports sector. Since football is the most loved game in the country, the company immediately went for it. They also promised to hold other sports meets in country in the coming years.

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