Martyrs’ Memorial Everest Football League begins today

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, April 16:

The Martyrs’ Memorial Everest ‘A’ Division League Football Tournament, under the auspices of All Nepal Football Association and sponsorship of Mount Everest Brewery, is beginning from Saturday. Defending champions Manang Marsyangdi Club (MMC) will take on Mahavir Club in the inaugural match at Dasharath Stadium. Altogether 13 teams — MMC, Mahendra Police Club (MPC), Three Star Club, Friends Club, Jawlakhel Youth Club, Boys Union Club, New Road Team (NRT), Sankata Club, Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT), Kathmandu Club and new entrants Tribhuvan Army Club, Mahavir Club and Brigade Boys Club — are taking part in the three-month event.

The organisers included Tribhuvan Army Club in the national league for the first time, while Brigade Boys Club and Mahavir Club were promoted to A Division after they finished first and second respectively in the B Division league. Boys Sports Club has been relegated to B Division even before the start of the league after the A Division Club opted not to take part in the tournament. The organisers also failed to give proper reason for BSC not taking part in the league. The organisers introduced Super Six League format to decide the winner. Six top teams of the league will play each other in Super Six League and the winner is decided after summing up the points of the league and the Super League. In all, there will be 93 matches, including 15 of the Super Six League, in the three-month tournament.

The organisers have increased in the prize money. The winner will be richer by Rs 5,00,000, increased by Rs 3,50,000 to the last edition’s amount. The runner-up will recieve Rs 3,00,000, while the third and the fourth place holders will get Rs 2,00,000 and Rs 1,00,000 respectively. The organisers will also award the best six of the tournament. The best goalkeeper, defender, striker, midfielder, highest scorer and the coach will get a Yamaha motorbike each, partially sponsored by Yamaha Company. The most disciplined team will get Rs 50,000 along with Fair Play Trophy. Each participating team will recieve Rs 75,000 for the preparation and the six teams advancing into the Super Six League will get additional Rs 75,000 each.

This time the organisers did not draw for the tie-sheet, instead they scheduled defending champions against the least ranked team, which means defending champions against the last and the runner-up against second from last and so on. Meanwhile, ANFA president Ganesh Thapa and Kapil Satyal, brand manager of Mount Everest Brewery, exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding. According to the agreement, the sponsors will give ANFA Rs 1.5 million, one-third of the estimated cost of Rs 4.5 million. The organisers have aimed to meet the expenses through the association, the sponsors and the gate collections. The three-month long league will be played on the round robin basis, where 13 teams will play 93 matches.