Players and officials of Nepal national football team pose for a group photo before leaving for Malaysia, at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato, Lalitpur on Thursday. Photo Courtesy: ANFA
KATHMANDU, May 31: The men’s national football team has headed for Malaysia after a farewell program organized by All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) on Thursday.
ANFA President Karma Tshering Sherpa and Secretary of Ministry of Youth and Sports Krishna Prasad Devkota gave farewell to the team of players and officials during a function held in Kathmandu.
Sherpa stressed on the need of capitalizing on the opportunity to play in the second stage of World Cup qualifiers saying that players should take inspirations from women’s football team which reached second round qualifiers for the Olympics last year.
Nepal women’s national football team had entered into the second round of the 2020 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament with three draws in the first round being placed as one of the best third-placed teams.
Head coach Johan Kalin had announced the squad for the upcoming international friendly matches against Chinese Taipei and host team Malaysia last month. Nepal will be missing regular strikers in Bharat Khawas and Bimal Gharti Magar.
“It is an opportunity for us to continue building a way of playing. We expect two tough games and hopefully we can take steps forwards,” he said. Similarly, Kalin made his concerns clear for fitness and match sharpness to be as important criteria of selection.
“The selection is based on the performance shown during training. Some new players have performed very well in the practice session and hopefully they can prove themselves in the matches as well. Some of the players have fitness problems and we have picked players fit fully,” he said.
Nepal will face Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday and Chinese Taipei on Wednesday. The matches will be part of the preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2020 Qualifiers in September.