Nepal to host President’s Cup football from May 4

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, February 15:

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is going to organise the AFC President’s Cup Club Championship International Football Tournament in Kathmandu from May 4-14, 2005. The AFC has categorised various Asian nations into three categories — A, B and C. Nepal, which falls into the ‘C’ category along with 15 other nations, will be playing the league-cum-knock-out tournament with eight nations including Bhutan, Krygzstan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tazakistan, Cambodia and Chinese Taipei. “This tournament will be an eight-team event as countries, which organise league matches are only allowed to take part,” said ANFA president Ganesh Thapa. Three Star Club, the club which won the Martyrs’ Memorial National League last year, have qualified to represent Nepal in the 11-day event.

“Our main opponents will be Chinese Taipei, Krygsztan and Tazakistan,” said Thapa. “With such events at home, the local players will be encouraged to opt for professional football,” opined Thapa. At the press meet, it was also informed that the AFC Challenge Cup Football Tournament, which will start from year 2006, will be organised every two year to promote the national clubs and the players.

While the winning team will bag $100,000, the runner-up team will get $50,000 and, two teams that make it to the semi-finals, will recieve $25,000 each. Apart from the prize money, the AFC has given $15,000 to all the participant clubs for match preparation. When asked whether AFC has given any subsidy to the hosts, president Thapa said, “The participant club is financially secure after getting Rs 1,050,000 from the AFC. But the hosts will not get extra money according to AFC’s rulebook.” Meanwhile, a six-member organising committee has been formed under the presidency of Ganesh Thapa and an AFC representative R Indran as the event director. Other officials include, Dato’ Yap Nyim Keong (Malaysia), Jopie Leepel (Indonesia), Milan Dutta (India) and Chrysantha Perera (Sri Lanka). The AFC will release the match fixtures and the draw in Malaysia on March 26, in presence of club presidents and the general secretaries of the participating nations.