Coca-Cola Cup begins across country

Kathmandu, May 20

The eighth edition of the Coca-Cola Cup Inter-school Football Tournament began in various districts of the country on Friday.

The tournament, which is organised jointly by Coca-Cola Nepal, All Nepal Football Association and Ministry for Youth and Sports, has been divided into three parts – district, regional and national. The district level matches will be held from May 20 to June 16, while the regional tournaments are slated for August 21-31. The national tournament will be played from September 5 to 21, informed the organisers in a press release today.

The district-level tournaments will be held in 43 districts affiliated to ANFA and at least 30 school teams will participate in each district. In all, 112 schools have confirmed their participation in the annual tournament, the largest grassroots football event of the country, featuring more than 2,000 students, the release added.

“The Coca-Cola Cup is structured to help provide Nepal’s youngsters an opportunity to nurture their talent in football and develop their skill. The tournament, which started in 2063, also offers an opportunity to be scouted for special training program run by ANFA. As a part of the program, ANFA scouts will watch each match and chose the best players to train in the ANFA Football Academy, where selected players will train with some of the best football coaches in Nepal. These players will also be trained on nutrition and fitness by functional experts invited by ANFA,” informed the organisers.

“In the recent past, the Coca-Cola Cup has thrown up talent that has helped Nepal build a strong national team. Players like Bishal Rai, Bikesh Kuthu, Rabin Shrestha, Heman Gurung, Bimal Gharti Magar, Aditya Chaudhary, Ananta Tamang and Anjan Bista have all played in the Coca-Cola Cup in the past,” the release added.

The top four teams in boys’ section will receive Rs 300,000, Rs 150,000 lakhs, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000, while the women’s category winners will get Rs 200,000, Rs 100,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively. In individual section, the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward will also be rewarded. Coca-Cola has instituted special awards for players and teams who display exemplary sportsmanship throughout event.

Alok Kohli, Country Director at Coca-Cola Nepal said: “We are very happy that we have been able to reach out to more than 100 schools for the Coca-Cola Cup this year. With the help of ANFA and its affiliate organisations, we have now more than 1,700 footballers participating and showcasing their football skills. We are optimistic and confident of the immense talent Nepal has to offer and hope that through the Coca-Cola Cup, the ANFA Academy can groom more players so that they can eventually play for the national team.”

ANFA General Secretary Dhirendra Pradhan said: “ANFA is constantly encouraging football platforms in the country and the Coca-Cola Cup is a great platform for youngsters to showcase their talent and skill. ANFA and Coca-Cola have partnered for the eighth consecutive year for this tournament. We have received record number of participants this year and we hope that we can groom this pool of talent for Nepal’s A-Level teams and truly develop a sporting culture in the country.”