KATHMANDU, Sept 26: The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) is making some changes in the match schedule of the Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League, which is being organized after a halt of five years.
At a meeting held between the ANFA, league committee officials, and representatives of the A-Division teams, it was agreed to change the match schedules for the league after deciding to participate in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup.
The league is being played from September 29, while the Nepal national football team will participate in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Bangladesh from October 1 to October 16. The national team will be on the camp from September 30.
League Director Sanjeev Mishra informed that they decided to change the league’s match schedules as the clubs will be affected by the participation of their national players in Bangladesh’ tournament. There are national players in six out of 14 clubs in the league.
“We had unveiled the match schedules of the league when we had not decided whether to play in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup. Now, the participation of Nepal in Bangladesh has been fixed, we have decided to change the schedules of some matches,’’ said ANFA General Secretary Indra Man Tuladhar.
According to the agreement, the opening match of the league will be played, but all other league matches will be postponed. “It has been decided that the first league match will be played on September 29, and the other matches of the league will be played only after the Bangabandhu Gold Cup,’’ informed League Coordinator Bigyan Raj Sharma.
Sharma also said that the league will be started again as soon as Nepal returns from Bangladesh, and the matches after the tournament will not be changed or postponed. “We will change the league schedule after looking at the performance of Nepal in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup. There will be more changes in the schedule if Nepal qualifies for the second round, while there will be less changes if Nepal fails to do so,’’ added Sharma, who is also a former Assistant Inspector General of Nepal Police.
The first match of the league will be played between New Road Team (NRT) and departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club. Army has four national players -- Bikesh Kuthu, Suman Aryal, Bharat Khawas and Nawayug Shrestha -- who will leave for Bangladesh the day after the league starts.
According to Tuladhar, it was decided to postpone the league after the first match as the national team players will have to stay with the national team. Even though it was decided to organize the league while the Gold Cup would be played, it was decided to postpone the matches after most of the clubs agreed on postponing the league.