POKHARA, Jan 10: The prize money of the 16th edition of the Aaha-Rara Gold Cup, one of the most popular football tournaments in Nepal, has been increased.
Organizing a press meet in the capital on Tuesday, Sahara Club disclosed the prize money of the tournament which will start on January 23 and conclude on February 3 at the Pokhara Stadium.
The winner will take home Rs 701,000 while the runner-up will bag Rs 351,000. The winner and the runner-up of the previous edition were rewarded with Rs 501,000 and Rs 251,000 respectively.
According to the main sponsor of the tournament, the prize money for the winner and the runner-up has been boosted by Rs 200,000 and Rs 100,000 respectively.
“The prize money should be raised as per time. We increased the prize money with the support of our main sponsor Himshree Foods,’’ said the president of the tournament Keshab Thapa.
According to the organizers, a total of 12 including two foreign teams will take part in the tournament.
Three departmental teams --Armed Police Force (APF), Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) and Nepal Police Club (NPC) will participate along with CMG Sankata Club, Dharan Football Club, Dhangadhi’s Far-western XI Sporting Club, Ruslan Three Star Club (TSC), and Jhapa XI. Likewise, the two foreign teams are India’s United Sikkim Football Club and Bangladesh’ Uttar Baridhara Club.
“Pokhara city has a big craze for football. So we have also invited foreign teams participate in the tournament,’’ Thapa said adding, “We are encouraged by the support from football fans.’’
Two lucky spectators, who buy ticket for every match, will get a scooter and a television set. The best player and the best coach will be rewarded handsomely.
The organizers also informed that a temporary parapet will be constructed for the tournament’s purpose since the old infrastructure of the stadium is being taken down.
Thapa further added that the temporary parapet will have the capacity for 1,000 spectators who can watch the matches from four walls.
“But, it may not be enough for the larger crowd that the tournament is expected to attract,’’ added Thapa.
Thapa also said that a situation might arise for the fans to watch the matches standing.
The savings of the tournament -- being organized to materialize the slogan “Let’s cooperate in sports development, let’s help Pokhara develop as a tourism hub” -- will be spent for the children of the club’s academy, informed Thapa. There are a total of 28 children from 18 districts currently in the third batch.