KATHMANDU, Aug 24: Sujal Shrestha has been selected as stand-in captain of the national football team for the upcoming friendly with Malaysian Super League Champion Johor Darul Ta’ Zim Football Club.
The match will be held at the Pasar Gudang Stadium in Johar City, Malaysia, on August 26, 10 days before the Nepali players begin their 2022 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition /AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers campaign.
Shrestha was preferred after Coach Johan Kalin dropped regular skipper Biraj Maharjan citing fitness concern. Similarly, Vice-captain Kiran Chemjong is currently on trial with a Japan’s third-division club, and experienced mid-fielder Rohit Chand is with Indonesia’s Liga 1 defending champion Persija Jakarta.
Nepal national football team head coach Kalin had announced a 23-member squad.
Popular forward Bimal Gharti Magar was recalled joining the forward line of Bimal Rana, Abishek Rijal and Nawayug Shrestha.
The match will serve as the final preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (AFC) matches against Kuwait on September 5 and Chinese Taipei on September 10.
Nepal is pitted in Group B of the qualifiers along with Australia, Jordan, Kuwait and Chinese Taipei.