Nepal to play first World Cup Qualifiers match away in Kuwait

Published On: August 10, 2019 07:12 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

ANFA had to request Kuwait due to lack of stadium in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 10: All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) announced on Friday that Nepal national football team will be starting its 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (AFC) with a trip to Kuwait. 

Nepal will play its first match of the World Cup Qualifiers in Kuwait and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers, the Kuwait Football Association agreed to the ANFA’s request to swap the fixtures between the sides. 

The ANFA had requested Kuwait FA, Chinese Taipei Football Association and Jordan Football Association to swap the fixtures due to the lack of an international-level football stadium in Nepal. The only international-level Dasharath Stadium is now under-reconstruction and that may take months. 

Chinese Taipei and Jordan both had agreed to the proposal but Kuwait FA had proposed to play both the matches in Kuwait. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and FIFA had declined the proposal stressing on how it affects the integrity of the game. 

Following the acceptance from Kuwait, it is now confirmed that the first match will be held in Kuwait on September 5, while the match against Australia will be held according to previous schedule. 
As for the home matches, the ANFA is in talks with the National Sports Council (NSC) and other member associations of the AFC to host in a neutral venue or in Nepal itself.

“We have been coordinating with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Council to host Nepal’s match on November 19 in Nepal.  If we think the facilities in Nepal will not be ready by then we shall go for a neutral venue,” said ANFA Spokesperson Kiran Rai. 

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