Players, authorities urge need for professionalism in sports

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 26:

Players and officials of various sports urged the need of professionalism for the overall development of sports at a programme here today. National cricket team skipper Binod Das said that only professionalism in the sport could help the players groom. “We have lots of talent in us. We have even exceeded expectations in the U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels, but after playing in the Under-19 tournaments, we are compelled to focus on our careers rather than the sport to earn our living,” he said. “This might be one of the reasons we have not been able to do well in senior-level tournaments. We, as players, need the environment to pursue sports as career to do well in future,” said Das. Another cricketer, Shakti Prasad Gauchan, also emphasised the need of professionalism to survive as a player. “Nepal has appeared as a strong contender in the field of cricket these days, and I think, professionalism in the sport is the only key to develop it,” said Gauchan. “I feel sorry for the nation that we could not qualify for the 2007 World Cup.”

Football coach Shyam Thapa, said that Nepal’s prospect in football was bright. “As the ANFA has started the residential academies for the youth, Nepal can be a strong team in the next five years,” said Thapa. “These days players have started earning their living playing football as the clubs are buying players,” said another football coach Raju Shakya. “We used to play football for Rs 5 per month, but these days a good player can earn up to Rs 15,000 per month,” said Shakya, who complained sports authorities of ignoring coaches and officials.

“Everybody is thinking of players, but we coaches also need to be groomed for the development of sports,” he added. Legendary athlete Baikuntha Manandhar was against the politics in the sports. “There should not be political interference in sports, but here we have seen the tradition developing faster than any sports,” said the president of Nepal Athletics Club. He was also against occupying the post for a long time without doing anything for the development of sports. “There should be right man in right place,” said the long-distance runner, who still holds the SAF record in marathon.

Jai Nath Kumar Shah, president of Cricket Association of Nepal, said that the achievement made in cricket was praiseworthy. “We have to think of millions, and we will get thousands,” he said, referring Nepal’s shattered-dream to play in the 2007 World Cup. He also informed that the association was planning to construct at least one ground in all the six regions. He also dismissed the reports of ICC stopping the construction of Asian Cricket Academy in Nepal. “The project will come to Nepal, and the ACC has decided to allocate $200,000 to all the Fast Track Countries to develop infrastructure,” he said. Caretaker member secretary of National Sports Council said that the council was following the modern-day technologies to ‘hunt talent’. “We had to start from the zero-level as my predecessors did not adopt the modern technologies,” he said. Singh also announced that the council was planning to bridge the gap between school sports to national level. “We are working to establish school-level and university-level sports federations to bridge the gap,” he said. “We are also planning to establish a Public Enterprise Sports Forum, so that we can ask the private sectors to hire players in their organisations to encourage them,” he said.

Blatter to visit Nepal

KATHMANDU: All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) president Ganesh Thapa said that FIFA president Sepp Blatter was co-ming to Ne-pal in May to inaugurate FIFA Technical Centre at Chyasal. “(Sepp) Blatter might come to Kathmandu to inaugurate the Technical Centre during the AFC President’s Cup,” he said. Speaking at a programme, Thapa urged the officials to think about sportspersons as long as they remain in post. “Those who cannot work should step down,” said Thapa, who also announced of constructing a stadium within five years. He also said that the preparations for the AFC President’s Cup would be over in next three days. — HNS