Football fraternity remembers Shrestha

Lalitpur, June 11

Football fraternity today remembered acting President of All Nepal Football Association Lalit Krishna Shrestha with the football governing body erecting the bust before the opening ceremony of the Lalit Memorial U-18 Football Tournament at the ANFA Complex, while Ruslan Three Star Club organised a separate Memorial to mark the death anniversary of its president.

Mother of the deceased Shrestha, Nannu Shrestha unveiled the bust. The ceremony was attended by Shrestha’s widow Nilu Shrestha and other family members along with ANFA officials and footballers.

Member of Parliament Ganesh Thapa and former national team players Sagar Thapa and vice-captain Sandeep Rai were among the large number of attendees at the Memorial organised by Three Star Club.

ANFA Acting President Narendra Shrestha lauded the contribution of Lalit Krishna Shrestha and remembered him as a person who was always there for football. “He was the obvious leader of Nepali football and the loss is irreparable,” said Shrestha. “As decided by the meeting, we erected his bust and the youth tournament in his memory is beginning today.

We will do whatever we can do for the family of Shrestha,” he added. ANFA has been providing Rs 50,000 per month to the family of Shrestha for the education of his twin children.

Former President of ANFA Thapa, who is serving 10-year ban imposed by the FIFA last year, remembered Shrestha as a brother who always thought of football. “He was by my side for more than 15 years and he never complained,” said Thapa.

“It was Shrestha who took me out of difficult situations on many occasions and he himself took the responsibility of ANFA Academy when I was thinking of closing it down,” he said.

“He was the one who used to take responsibilities seriously whether it is ANFA Academy or the handling of the national team. I don’t regret appointing him the senior vice-president of ANFA,” Thapa added. General Secretary of Nepal Sports Journalists Forum Prakash Timalsina said Shrestha had good relation with all the scribes. “Shrestha was not just a football official for most of the journalists. We used to treat him like a guardian,” Timalsina said.

Earlier, Three Star Club’s acting president Arun Man Joshi praised Shrestha for taking the club to the summit single-handedly. “He was a good leader and had the capability of doing things with ease,” said Joshi.

“He has done a lot of good works which cannot be described in words. For me, he was like an elder brother who brought me in this position,” Joshi added. President of Nepal National and International Players Association Deepak Bista said Shrestha always supported athletes.

“He was always there whenever an athlete needed him. He used to encourage the players to do well and always praised their achievements,” said Bista.

Shrestha, who hailed from Patan, died on June 12 last year because of electrocution on the same day he shifted at his new residence in Bhainsepati at the age of 50.

He was the Acting President of ANFA after Thapa decided to remain out of football to ease probe by FIFA Ethics Committee.

He played for Three Star in the club’s run from D to A Division. He was part of the club’s D Division League in 1979 and played C Division League the following year. He then played his part in getting promotion to B Division in 1981 and was the team’s member when the club earned A Division status the next year.

Shrestha, who quit football after suffering a knee injury, was elected as the club’s president in 1992 and was at the helm since he was elected for the second time in 2003.

Three Star won Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League title twice during his stint. Shrestha made his entry at the ANFA as a member in 1995 and served the association under the capacity of spokesperson, vice-president, senior vice-president and acting president. Shrestha also received the Gold Award from Asian Football Confederation for his three-decade service to the Nepali football.

APF hold MMC in opener

LALITPUR: Nepal Armed Police Force Cub held Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club to a 2-2 draw in the inaugural match of the Lalit Memorial U-18 Football Tournament here at the ANFA Complex grounds on Saturday.

Aasish Gurung put MMC ahead in the sixth minute when he lobbed over APF goalkeeper Pravat Mahat.

After the break, Amin Rawal levelled the scores for APF when he beat MMC custodian Sushant Mahat in the 63rd minute.

MMC went ahead for the second time in the match after Gurung netted his second goal of the match in the 83rd minute with a powerful shot from the edge of the box.

At a time when the match was heading towards the end, APF earned a penalty and Kumar Rai converted from the spot in the injury time.

A total of 12 teams are taking part in the event organised by the ANFA in memory of its Acting President Lalit Krishna Shrestha, who passed away last year due to electrocution at his own residence.