KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal hosted a farewell programme for the Nepali contingent participating in the 11th South Asian Games here today.

Adressing the Nepali contingent at his residence early

this morning, PM said the players are the pride of the nation. “All eyes will be set on

you during the SA Games,

not just from Nepal but the entire South Asian Region. All your training and hard work will be tested there (Dhaka) and you will be at the receiving end whether you succeed or fail,” said Nepal.

“People might criticise or praise you for your performance but I hope you would try your best to make your nation proud,” added PM Nepal. The PM also stressed the

need to take new measures to uplift the Nepali sports. “We need to develop sports from grass root. We have to develop sports in such a way that a player can pursue it as a profession. We are currently working out on a plan to make that happen,” added the PM.

PM Nepal also criticised the past trend of taking too many or unnecessary people in such mega events. “Doing so is only wasting the money,” he said. PM Nepal also expressed

utter dissapointment over the past incidents where players have ashamed the entire

nation by deserting the team

in hope of better earning. “I don’t think anybody will

repeat that in Dhaka but any such incident would be completely unacceptable.”

Minister for Youth and Sports Ganesh Nepali, National Sports Council (NSC) Member Secretary Hari Babu Chaudhary, NSC Vice-president Pitambar Timalsina among others were present during the programme. In all, 283 players, 47 coaches and 25 team managers from 23 disciplines will represent Nepal at the regional meet slated for January 29 to February 9.

Meanwhile, Armed Police Force (APF) bade farewell to its SA Games-bound players. Inspector General of APF Sanat Kumar Basnet wished best lucks to the players and team leader DIG Rishav Dev Bhattarai. A total of 35 players in women’s football, karate, boxing, athletics, taekwondo, badminton, volleyball and handball are from the APF.