Anil Gurung to lead Nepal football in SAFF Championship

KATHMANDU: Anil Gurung will lead the Nepali national football team in the upcoming SAFF Championship, the All Nepal Football Association said.

Organising a press conference in the Capital today, the team coach Patrick Aussems made the announcement.

Aussems, however, did not name Gurung as the "captain", but said he would "lead the team."

He suggested that defender Biraj Maharjan or mid-fielder Rohit Chand could play as the captain if Gurung remained off the ground.

The regional championship is scheduled to begin on December 23 in Trivandrum of India.

Nepali football team had faced the leadership crisis after its captain Sagar Thapa and his deputy Sandip Rai among five were suspended by the ANFA after police filed a subversion case against them for their alleged involvement in match-fixing at various national and international games over last few years. The Asian Football Confederation also banned them for life after the accusation.

Likewise, Aussems also announced the final Nepali squad for the tournament.

Goalkeepers: Kiran Chemjong, Bikesh Kuthu, Amrit Chaudhary

Defenders:Ranjit Dhimal, Rabin Shrestha, Jitendra Karki, Ananta Tamang, Aditya Chaudhary, Biraj Maharjan

Midfielders: Rohit Chand, Heman Gurung, Bikram Lama, Bishal Rai, Yogesh Gurung

Forwards: Anjan Bista, Nawayug Shrestha, Anil Gurung, Bimal Gharti Magar, Jagjeet Shrestha, Navin Lama