Lalitpur, July 11:

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) bade farewell to the legendary Indian footballer Shyam Singh Thapa here today.

Thapa is returning to India after completing his four-year term as the Nepali national team and ANFA Academy coach. On the occasion, ANFA president Ganesh Thapa presented a felicitation letter to coach Thapa.

Coach Thapa thanked ANFA for providing an opportunity to contribute in the development of Nepali football. “I could not play for Nepal but I did my best to help uplift the standard of football here,” said emotion Thapa.

Thapa, who was handed over the responsibility to look after the youth project in 2004, guided the Nepali team to the final round of the AFC U-19 tournament in Malaysia, where Nepal recorded a memorable 1-0 victory over Vietnam.

Thapa also took over the responsibility of national team coach on the request of ANFA in 2006 and guided Nepal into the semi-final of the AFC Challenge Cup. He also led Nepal to a bronze medal finish in the 10th South Asian Games in Sri Lanka. Upon his return to India, Thapa will look after the Sail Academy of the Mohan Bagan football team. He has been appointed as the director of the Sail Academy.

National team captain Rakesh Shrestha presented Thapa with a memento on the occasion. “He (Thapa) was not just successful as a player but as a coach as well,” said Rakesh. “It would be a great achievement for us only if only we succeed to follow his guidelines,” added the Nepali team captain.