KATHMANDU: Nepal National and International Players Association (NNIPA) joined hands with Nepatop to raise funds for the ailing former national team volleyball player Dinesh Baniya.

As per the agreement, the Nepatop will sponsor the Kheladi Cup, which is being jointly

organised by the NNIPA and Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF) at the Dasharath Stadium from July 25-27.

The charity tournament will now be named Nepatop Kheladi Cup. Apart from the cash of Rs 150,000, the sponsors will also provide the shields, medals and certificates. Nepatop will also contribute in the campaigning and management part of the charity football tournament. NNIPA President Deepak Bista and Managing Director of Nepatop Amrit Prasad Dwa and Executive Director of Deepak Shrestha exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding at a ceremony on Sunday.

“We are just a medium in the NNIPA’s bid to save a player,” said Shrestha. NNIPA President Bista said the association was hopeful of the success of the programme. “Now I feel we will be successful in our mission of saving a player,” he said, thanking all the organisations and individuals, who are directly and indirectly involved in the noble cause. In all, four top teams — New Road Team, Three Star Club, Nepal Police Club and Tribhuvan Army Club — will take part in the three-day tournament. The organisers are yet to draw the tie sheet but the winners of the semi-final matches will vie for the championship on June 27.

The organisers rescheduled the tournament to three days because of the scorching heat. The NNIPA and NSJF had planned to hold the semi-finals on June 26 and the final on June 27. As per the new schedules, the semi-finals will be held on June 25 and 26 and the final on June 27. The man of the match of all the three games will received mountain flight tickets from Buddha Air.

“We were forced to reschedule the matches because of the scorching heat. It would be hard for the players to play at 1pm and we also thought it would be difficult for the spectators to come to the stadium at that time,” he added. “As our main aim is to raise the funds, we need spectators to watch the matches. Otherwise it will be a failure,” said the ace taekwondo player and Olympian Bista.

The organisers are also organising the musical programme on the last day. Popular artists Nima Rumba, Anil Singh and The Unity Band will perform before and during the half time of the final match. “We (artists and players) are standing on the same platform for a noble cause,” said Rumba. “We are into it from the bottom of the heart,” he added. “As the programme aims to save a players’ life, we will try our best to entertain the spectators at the stadium,” said The Unity Band’s Sudin Pokhrel, who is also a sports journalist.

President of NSJF Niranjan Rajbanshi hoped the event would be an exciting combination of football and music. “The reason behind it is very noble and we will do our level best to bring in the maximum number of spectators at the stadium,” he said.

Meanwhile, President of Loktantrik Sports Association and Vice President of All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) Karma Tshering Sherpa, President of Gorkha Action Pvt Ltd and Member of Nepal ITF Prakash Bahadur Thapa and Laligurans Cooperative donated Rs 10,000 each to Baniya through the NNIPA. On Saturday, the NNIPA raised Rs 100,200 from the screening of the documentaries produced by Om Krishna Shrestha.