British Gorkha Cup kicks off on Wednesday


KATHMANDU, Dec 23: After a six-year hiatus, the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) is organizing knockout football tournament in the capital. Sixteen teams, including 11 first division teams, will be vying for the title in the British Gorkha Cup set to kick off on Wednesday at the Dasharath Stadium.

Himalayan Cup Football Tournament held from November 30, 2004 was the last A division knockout football organized by ANFA. Later, Suwarna Shamsher Education Foundation had organized knockout football tournament in August, 2006.

Following internal disputes, ANFA has been unable to hold the first division league for the last three years. However, ANFA has already decided to organize it from February 12. The last time ´A´ division clubs played with each other in a tournament was back on March 8, 2007 in the first division league. In the title clash of the league, Nepal Police Club had defeated Army Club to be national champions.

After a three-year hiatus, the British Gorkha Group´s two million-rupee sponsorship has given new life to Nepali football. The winners will bag a cash prize of one million rupees while the runners up will get half that amount. This is the tournament with highest cash prize in the history of Nepali knockout football tournament. The two semifinalists will also receive a cash prize of Rs 100,000 each.

Yogesh and Deepen uncertain

Participation of two players from the Police Club --Yogesh Shrestha and Deepen Shrestha-- has not been decided yet. As per ANFA regulations, a player needs to play from the same team in which he was registered during 2006/07.

Yogesh and Deepen, who made their debuts in the national team recently, were registered in the Jawalakhel Youth Club in 2006/07. Both of them were enrolled in the police this year.

Jawalakhel Club General Secretary Manamohan KC claimed that they will play from Jawalakhel. “They need to play from Jawalakhel as per ANFA regulations. They will not get the chance to play this year if they don´t play from our team,” KC said.

Police Additional Inspector General Kalyan Kumar Timilsina said that the matter had not been settled as of yet. “It will be settled tomorrow after holding talks with ANFA President Ganesh Thapa,” he said adding, “We will proceed as per the ANFA rule.”

Deepen and Yogesh represented police team in the President´s Cup last time. Both of them are undergoing training for the South Asian Games football.

Lalitpur derby in opener

The inaugural match will feature two ´A´ division clubs of Lalitpur. Jawalakhel Club and Friends Club will meet each other after the 2006 league football.

Jawalakhel will have more new faces as compared to Friends. Friends coach Mrigendra Mishra claimed that his team would start the journey with victory. “We have got good coordination among the players and have been preparing for the last three weeks. Besides, six of the players are in SAG training,” Mishra said.

Jawalakhel coach Kishor KC said that the team has the combination of old and new faces. “The team has not been conducting training from a long time. However, the match will be a 50/50,” KC said. Both the teams are unknown about their opponents.

Wednesday´s match
Jawalakhel Vs Friends Club
14:00 NST

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