And the Toyota Yaris winner is...

Kathmandu, February 21:

Nabil Three Star Club’s goalkeeper Upendra Man Singh was named the best player of the Martyrs’ Memorial San Miguel ‘A’ Division League.

Singh — who led national team for five years in his 15-year international carrier, received a Toyota Yaris car. Crown Prince Paras, who is also the patron of National Sports Council, handed over the dummy key to Singh.

“I am very happy today. I had not thought of getting such an award for playing football,” said ecstatic Singh. “This is a reward for my 15-year-long contribution to the sport,” he added.

Praising ANFA and the sponsors, Vaidya’s Organisation of Industries and Trading Houses (VOITH), for joining hands for the sake of footballer, Singh urged other sports associations to come forward with such morale-boosting awards to the players. ANFA and VOITH had signed an agreement to award the car to the best player with both the parties bearing 50 per cent of the total cost of Rs 2.35 million.

“This is an exemplary step of the ANFA and I would take this opportunity to request other associations to possess the vision like ANFA for the betterment of the players,” he Said. “Some of my friends continued their studies and have become doctors and engineers,

but I opted sports and today I feel proud to be a sportsman,” he said.

He also said that the loss in the last match was heartbreaking. “It would have been a different story if we had won the title,” said Singh, who guided Three Star to the league title last year. Asked about the match, Singh said that the players played under unnecessary pressure. “We should have played our natural game giving pressure to the opponents. But as the match was a must-win for us, the boys felt pressure from the beginning and failed,” he added.

The latest model car — which costs Rs 2.35 million — is schedule to be launched worldwide on April 14. “Once it is launched, we will hand over the car to Upendra Man Singh amid a grand function,” said Suraj Vaidya, chairman of Vaidya’s Organisation of Industries and Trading Houses (VOITH). Vaidya also informed that the award would be continued in next year’s league also.