KATHMANDU, MARCH 14
The Nepal Sports Event and Management Pvt Ltd today revealed the teams, logos and owners of the seven participating franchises of the Nepal Super League.
The first-ever franchised-based football tournament is scheduled to kick off at the Dasharath Stadium for April 24. Biratnagar City Football Club, Kathmandu Rayzers, Lalitpur City Football Club, Football Club Chitwan, Pokhara Thunders, Butwal Lumbini Football Club and Dhangadhi Football Club will take part in the tournament. The teams will form their teams through auction to be held this week.
According to the organisers, the Biratnagar City FC is owned by Sonalika Tractor, while Morang Auto Works are the owner of Kathmandu Rayzers. Bhatbhateni Supermarket owns the Lalitpur City FC, whereas IME Group is the owner of Chitwan FC. Pokhara Thunders is owned by Laxmi Group, while Event Code Pvt Ltd is the owner of Butwal Lumbini FC. Also, GoDreamers is the owner of Dhangadhi FC.
NSL Chairperson Ashrayata Karki Chaudhary thanked the franchise teams and companies for their generous support toward the tournament. "We would like to welcome all the teams and the owners under the umbrella of NSL, which is going to be the flagship event in Nepali football," she added.
Bollywood actor Sohail Khan, who was introduced as the goodwill ambassador of the NSL, wished luck for the success of the event and promised to join the party in the opening ceremony of the tournament on April 24.
"I am a big fan of sports and I am ready to for any kind of support for the tournament.
Hopefully, we will meet in Kathmandu for the opening ceremony on April 24," Khan said in a video message.
National Sports Council Member Secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal believed the launch of the NSL was a huge leap for Nepali football.
"The event will make a huge contribution in the development of football. Although it is beginning in a small scale, it is a milestone in Nepali football history," said Silwal. "I believe the event will grow in the days to come," he added.
All Nepal Football Association President Karma Tsering Sherpa said he had never doubted the organisers.
"We had signed the memorandum of understanding two years ago and many people had cast doubts on the NSL. But I was sure the tournament will happen one day as I have total faith on Chaudhary Group and its Managing Director Nirvana Chaudhary," said Sherpa.
NSL CEO Sudeep Sharma hoped the tournament would be helpful for Nepali football. "We actually initiated this event - the brainchild of Nirvana Chaudhary, Advisor of the NSL - in 2019. We were unable to get it done due to various reasons then. We are beginning it this year in a small scale and we hope to grow bigger and better in the years to come," he said. "We believe the NSL will be helpful in the overall development of Nepali football."
Dhangadhi FC owner Subash Shahi, who is also the organiser of the Dhangadhi Premier League cricket tournament, said his team was happy to get the opportunity to contribute in football. "We need to develop sports into a powerful industry and it is possible through such events," said Shahi, who introduced the franchise-based teams and auction in cricket.
A version of this article appears in the print on March 15, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.