Under-16 team leaves for Tehran

Kathmandu, October 14:

The Nepali team today left for Iran to participate in the AFC Under-16 Championship Qualification Competition to be held in Tehran from October 17-28. Nepal are drawn in tough Group B along with hosts Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain and Afghanistan. Nepal will play Bahrain on October 17, Jordon on October 20, Afghanistan on October 22, Kuwait on October 25 and Iran on October 28.

The 45 Asian countries are divided into eight groups and the winners and runners-up of the seven groups will qualify for the finals along with the winner of the three-team Group H, which comprises Korea Republic, Thailand and Chinese Taipei. The yet to be decided hosts of the the AFC U-16 Championship will automatically qualify for the finals.

Nirajan Malla will lead the Nepali team. Other members of the squad are Bishal Shrestha, Kovit Karki, Rohit Chand, Ravi Thapa, Neeraj Magar, Sabindra Shrestha, Ram Krishna GC, Shiva Shrestha, Ganesh Khadka, Bishal Rai, Sujal Shrestha, Roshan Lamichhane, Jagjit Shrestha, Sushil KC, Badal Ghising, Suman Khadka, Nabin Maharjan, Naresh Pokharel and Dinesh Thapa Magar.

Coaches Kishor KC and Siddhi Byanjankar along with Sanjeev Mishra (manager), Arun Kumar Upreti (assistant manager), Asha Kaji Shakya and Pasang Dorje Lama (officials) will also accompany the team. All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) president Ganesh Thapa bade farewell to the team today.

Nepal are also scheduled to take part in the AFC Under-19 Championship Qualification Tournament to be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from November 6-17.