Kathmandu, November 7
The All Nepal Football Association today apologised to fans after Asian Football Confederation refused to approve the under construction Dasharath Stadium to host Nepal’s home match against Kuwait.
“We regret to inform that Nepal will play Kuwait at neutral venue in their upcoming Asian Qualifiers ties for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023,” said the ANFA in a Facebook post along with the press release. “We had proposed the AFC to hold the match at the Dasharath Stadium and the AFC Competition Department representative Deng Xiaolong had come to Nepal to inspect the venue on November 5. Based on his report, the AFC said the November 19 match could not be held in Nepal,” the release added.
Spokesperson Kiran Rai said the ANFA had already reached an agreement with Bhutan FA to host the match at the neutral venue. “After the agreement with the Bhutan FA, we have proposed the AFC to host the match at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimpu. Hopefully, we will receive the confirmation from the AFC by tomorrow,” said Rai.
Previous reports suggested Kuwait FA was not satisfied with the condition of the Dasharath Stadium, which was damaged by the massive earthquake in 2015 and is under renovation, and that they had proposed the ANFA to play the match in Dubai. But the ANFA remained adamant and wanted to host the match at the Dasharath Stadium, which is being partly reconstructed by the National Sports Council to host the South Asian Games in December.
Nepal have already played all four away matches of the joint qualifiers of the two tournaments. They are currently fourth in the five-team table with just one win. Nepal began the campaign with a 7-0 loss at the hands of Kuwait at the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium on September 5 before beating Chinese Taipei 2-0 at the Taipei Municipal Stadium five days later. Nepal then suffered a 5-0 defeat against Australia on October 10 and lost 3-0 against Jordan at the Amman International Stadium on October 15. After hosting Kuwait on November 19, Nepal will face Chinese Taipei and Australia in March next year before playing against Jordan in June.
A version of this article appears in print on November 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.