Kheladi Cup to raise funds for player

KATHMANDU: Nepal National and International Players’ Association (NNIPA) and Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF) are organising the Kheladi Cup, a charity football tournament here at the Dasharath Stadium on June 26-27.

Four top-tier Nepali football teams — Nabil Three Star Club (NTSC), New Road Team (NRT), Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) and Nepal Police Club (NPC) — will battle it out for the championship organised to raise fund for the ailing former national volleyball player Dinesh Baniya.

Baniya is fighting for life after diagnosed with failed kidneys. The 41-year-old Baniya has been doing dialysis regularly and doctors have advised him for kindey transplantation, which costs around Rs 1.2 million. Baniya, who started his volleyball career in 1988 from the-then Mahendra Police Club (now Nepal Police Club), was the member of the sixth and seventh South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in 1991 and 1993.

In their bid to save the player’s life, NNIPA have taken the initiatives to raise funds for Baniya’s treatment. “We have so far collected around Rs 125,000 and hope the match would generate enough money,” said NNIPA president and Nepali taekwondo star Deepak Bista at a press meet today. Bista appealed the individuals, social organisations and corporate houses to come forward to help save a player’s life. Popolar artists of the country will also present the cultural show before and during the half time of the final match at the Dasharath Stadium, informed the organisers.

The two-day tournament will see all four teams in action on June 26. The winners of the two matches will fight for the championship the next day. The fixtures are yet to be drawn, said the organisers. Veteran NPC defender and national team skipper Rakesh Shrestha expressed happiness get the opportunity to contribute for a noble cause. “We will give our 100 per cent despite the tournament being a charity event,” said Shrestha.

Army skipper and national team goalkeeper Bikash Malla said that it would be a good test for the participating teams to find where they stand in the absence of football in the country in recent times. “We will play our natural game as it will provide us a good ground to check our capability,” said Malla. NRT skipper Surendra Shrestha and Three Star captain Surendra Tamang were also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the NNIPA are also screening a documentary — Football Language of World and Inspiration prepared by Om Krishna Shrestha — at the Ashok Party Palace on June 20. The funds from the show will be handed over to Baniya.