HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The reigning National and ‘A’ Division League champions Nepal Police Club (NPC) are set to take on top Indian side McDowell Mohun Bagan Athletic Club in a friendly match here at the Dasharath Stadium on May 12.
The injury-depleted departmental team will, however, borrow at least five recognised players from other top flight clubs to play the visiting Indian i-league team of Kolkata. “As of now Santosh Sahukhala, Bharat Khawas, Kiran Chemjong, Sandip Rai and Biraj Maharjan will don the NPC jersey for the friendly,” informed the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice-president Ganesh Thapa at a press meet here today.
Thapa said the organisers, ANFA, will be providing the players as per the wishes of the NPC coach Birat Krishna Shrestha, whose side is hardly hit by injuries to its key players. “If required we are ready to give few more players to the team,” added Thapa. NPC are currently competing in the AFC President’s Cup Group ‘B’ Qualifier in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Sponsors United Spirits Nepal Pvt Ltd, an authorised dealer of McDowell in Nepal, had paved way for the NPC-Mohun Bagan friendly match. According to the ANFA president Thapa the sponsors are also willing to continue inviting Mohun Bagan annually for a similar friendly match.
Both the organisers and the sponsors hope the initiative would not only help raise the standard of Nepali football but also pave way for strong sporting ties between the two countries.
While United Spirits Nepal will bear all the expenses of the touring Indian team, organisers ANFA will share the 50 per cent profits from the participating NPC team members. “We will keep half the profit raised from the ticket sales as the management costs but will give away another 50 per cent to members involved in the match,” said Thapa.
According to the United Spirits Nepal renowned forwards Sunil Chhetri and Odafa Okolie as well as defender Surkumar Singh will be part of Mohun Bagan team travelling to Kathmandu for the match.