Prime Minister felicitates Solidarity Cup winners

Published On: February 13, 2017 10:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 14: The government on Monday felicitated the members of the AFC Solidarity Cup winning men's national football team and head coach Gyotoku Koji with Rs 300,000 each on Monday. 

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal handed checks worth the amount to all 23 members and head coach of the national team amidst a program at his official residence in Baluwatar. On the occasion, coach Raju Kaji Shakya was rewarded with Rs 200,000 while goalkeeping coach Ujjwal Manandhar and physiotherapist Suraj Bhusal received Rs 50,000 each. 

The players to receive the honor were Bikesh Kuthu, Rabin Shrestha, Biraj Maharjan, Ananta Tamang, Deepak Gurung, Aditya Chaudhary, Bimal Rana Magar, Bishal Rai, Ranjan Bista and Anil Gurung. Similarly, Heman Gurung, Bikram Lama, Kamal Shrestha, Anjan Bista, Sujal Shrestha, Kiran Kumar Limbu, Suman Lama, Nawayug Shrestha, Devendra Tamang, Bishal Shrestha, Bharat Khawas, Rajendra Rawal and Ranjit Dhimal were also felicitated on the occasion. 

Speaking at the program, skipper Anil Gurung said that such felicitation motivates the players to do better in upcoming tournaments. “Winning consecutive trophies has inspired us to continue the winning run and this felicitation will motivate us even more,” said captain Gurung. He also complained about the pathetic condition of the Dasharath stadium damaged by the 2015 earthquake. “We are soon going to play AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in home and away formats. We fear losing the chance of playing the match in front of home spectators as we don't have the stadium ready to host the match,” added Gurung stressing the urgent need to repair the stadium. 

Nepal needs a well-equipped stadium in order to host the home match of the upcoming AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers as it will take on Yemen in its first home match on June 13. 

Meanwhile Prime Minister Dahal expressed commitment to do the needful to rebuild the stadium. “As the Prime Minister, I want to express my commitment to finish the repair and renovation works of the stadium as soon as possible,” said Prime Minister Dahal. He also said that the government will keep motivating the players by awarding them cash prizes in the future as well. 

ANFA submits memorandum to PM
Meanwhile, the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Dahal during the felicitation program. Among other issues, the memorandum submitted by ANFA President Narendra Shrestha has urged Prime Minister Dahal to take special initiatives for the maintenance and renovation of the Dasharath stadium at the earliest. 

Nepal is scheduled to host Yemen in its first home match of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on June 13. However, Nepal does not have any international standard stadium after the Dasharath stadium was damaged by the earthquake two years back. No concrete step has been taken so far to repair the stadium other than a preliminary Detailed Project Report.  

ANFA says it has, therefore, requested the Prime Minister to take special initiatives to fix the stadium before the Nepal-Yemen match. ANFA has also requested for a financial support of Rs 20 million to prepare for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier matches and host the home matches of the competition. ANFA has said that it is suffering from a financial crunch as it has been unable to host any big international tournament, a major source of income for the organization, for the past 22 months due to the lack of a stadium.

After submitting the memorandum, ANFA President Shrestha said that he was hopeful that the Prime Minister would address the issue. “If we can't rebuild the stadium completely so to accommodate spectators to its full capacity, we can make it ready to accommodate at least five to six thousands spectators,” said Shrestha. “If the Prime Minister takes special initiation we can achieve that target by the time we host Yemen,” he informed Republica, adding that the Prime Minister was positive towards ANFA's proposal. 


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