‘FIFA positive about Nepal’

Kathmandu, August 4:

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) general secretary Narendra Shrestha said the Federation of Internatioal Football Associations (FIFA) representative was positive about the venue and security situation at the Dasharath Stadium.

FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Safety and Security Inspector Salman Al Namshan is here to assess the venue and the security situation at the national stadium in the country to host the World Cup 2010 qualifying matches.

Earlier Namshan had a meeting with security and ministry officials. The officials included Armed Police Force (APF) AIG Sanat Kumar Basnet, APF SSP Mahendra Bhattachan, Nepal Police DIG Devi Lal Tamang, Inspector Buddhi Bahadur Pradhan, Baburan Kalkhate from Education and Sports Ministry, Basudev Henjagu from Fire Brigade, Dr Raju Dangol, stadium in-charge Madan Jung Rana and National Sports Council security incharge Kamal Lama.

ANFA general secretary Shrestha, senior vice president Mahesh Bista, vice president Karma Tsering Sherpa, treasurer Birat Jung Shahi, joint secretary Dhirendra Pradhan, member Sunil SJB Rana, and ANFA Safety and Security Officer Mani Kunwar also attended the meeting.

Shrestha said Namshan inquired about the safety measures at the stadium in case of emergency evacuation. “The officer was concerned not only about the players and officials, but also the spectators,” he said.

“After the inspection of the Stadium, Namshan has given us some areas of improvement at the stadium which included the exit gates and ticketing area,” said Shrestha. “I cannot say the actual thing right now, but I found him positive about the security situation and the venue,” Shrestha added.

Namshan also visited grounds at the APF Headquarters in Halchowk and Nepal Police Training Academy in Maharajgunj for the practice grounds. Namshan, who arrived here after completing a similar inspection in Bangladesh, is scheduled to meet ANFA executive committee on Sunday.

The draw for the qualifying rounds is slated for November and the matches will start in February, next year. Nepal had last played the 1986 Mexico World Cup qualifiers in Kathmandu. Rupak Raj Sharma was the national team skipper then.