The National League is here!!!

By: Ram Gurung

The most anticipated League of Nepal is here. ANFA has taken a milestone footstep on developing football from east to west and south to the north. Gorkha Brewery has become the first official sponsor of the league for next three years. The ANFA president Ganesh Thapa and Gorkha Brewery's Marketing Director Rajendra Gurung sealed the deal worth 25 lakh rupees recurring every season. ANFA defined this contract as the largest sponsorship in any Nepali League. Now, the teams requires to win the National League to enter the AFC President's Cup instead of the Martyr's Memorial A-Division League. 

The decentralisation has begun.The clubs outside the valley will have the opportunity to show that they are no weaker than the clubs inside the valley. One of such a club is Sahara club. The club nurtures unfortunate children as well as young talents from my home town Pokhara.Sahara were denied entry into C division owing to the geographic location as well as protest from the clubs in Kathmandu. We don't need to reiterate that clubs such as Sahara and other clubs around the country has contributed the best players in Nepal to the A division clubs as well as the national team. Current Nepalese dominant striker no. 10 Anil Gurung used to play for Sahara Club in the past.

Structure of ANFA National League:
ANFA has proposed three National Leagues in three tiers.
A-Division National League: 6 teams from Martyr's Memorial A-Division and 2 A-categorised district teams, 6 teams will play home and away.
Total: 8 teams

B-Division National League: 4 teams from Martyr's Memorial B-Division and 2 B-categorised district teams, all matches will be played in same venue.
Total: 6 teams

C-Division National League: 4 teams from Martyr's Memorial C-Division and 2 C-categorised district teams, all matches will be played in same venue.
Total: 6 teams

The top six clubs from the Martyrs Memorial A-Division League (MM ADL) automatically qualifies for the A-Division National League. The champions Nepal Police Club and !st runner up Manang Marsyangdi Club followed by Jawalakhel Youth Club, Three Star Club, Himalayan Sherpa Club and Ranipokhari Corner Team has already booked their places. Two teams from the A-categorised districts i.e. Banke, Chitwan, Jhapa, Kaski, Makwanpur, Morang, Parsa, Rupendehi, Kailali, Sunsari will challenge for all Nepal supremacy.

Similarly two teams from B-categorized Districts: Dhankuta, Ilam, Siraha, Rautahat, Sindhupalchowk, Kavre, Dhanusha, Nawalparasi, Tanahu, Kanchanpur, Surkhet, Syangjya and two teams from C-categorized Districts: Panchthar, Sarlahi, Bara, Saptari, Baglung, Mahottari, Nuwakot, Dhadhing, Bardiya, Dolakha, Dang, Gorkha, Lamjung, Palpa, Udayapur will test the mettle of 4 top teams from Martyr's Memorial B-Division and Martyr's Memorial C-Division Leagues respectively. All matches for both bottom tiers will not be played in different venues.

The teams from B and C-categorised districts can be promoted into higher National Division Leagues by their performance in respective leagues. First and second position of both B and C-categorised districts in these leagues will provide them MM C-Division League status. Similarly First and second position by the A-categorised districts will earn them MM ADL status. The relegation will also be in similar fashion. 

By analysing the facts, B-division National League is going to be more competitive. Teams from Syangja are really strong and I strongly believe that they need to be amongst A-categorised districts. The Journey is going to be tough relatively for the A-categorised teams in A-Division National League. The reason is that the teams from Martyr's Memorial are not only experienced in playing top level but also have learnt to play day in and day out. Fatigue is going to play a major role. They play more frequently than many European clubs during the season. Also the six top clubs from MM ADL can also loan maximum of 5 players each from other clubs from A-division league.

The League is dated to be commenced on 26th of August.

Overall, the league will transform the teams and players alike. The players would be more beneficial to show their skill to charm national as well as international professional clubs. I am supporting Kaski and Sahara, AND YOU????

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