31 October 2009

Anil Gurung signs for Shillong Lajong

Looks like Anil Gurung took my advice ;-) and signed with Indian I-League side Shillong Lajong. According to Goalnepal.com Anil has signed a 3 year contract worth around 63 Lakhs.

I am really thrilled about the news and here is why. You can follow Lajong Shillong on their Facebook site.

30 October 2009

Newspaper websites need reprogramming

Kathmandu Post finally fixed the glitch in their website which made it difficult to access their sports stories, but finding archived stories remains cumbersome. The Himalayan Times website continues to be out of whack with no domestic sports stories ever appearing on its front page and very old stories populating the sports section. As for the Rising Nepal, do they cover Nepali sports anymore or are they just not bothered to post those stories online? All these newspapers are really doing a disservice to their scribes with such poorly built websites. Thankfully, Republica is keeping me sane.

29 October 2009

Chhetry highlights IP issues

If any publicity is good publicity then Soccer In Nepal Blog should buy a few plates of momo for Udipt Singh Chhetry. The last few days, Chhetry, the webmaster of NepalSportsPhoto.com went on a crusade to name and shame the little known Blog for blatantly using his photos - watermarks intact! I venture to guess that traffic to the site must have doubled or tripled since Chhetry brought attention to the Blog.

After a few days of flooding Facebook and the Blog's own comments section with vicious posts against the site, the webmaster of the Blog, who remains anonymous, finally took down all of Chhetry's pictures.

Though the operator of Soccer In Nepal Blog is probably a passionate Nepali football fan who simply was not well versed on IP issues, I applaud Chhetry for his efforts. It is really frustrating when someone takes your work without permission, especially when you calculate all the effort and costs that go into producing the product. Hopefully this incident will serve notice to media outlets in Nepal that they need to be much more mindful of intellectual property rights.

Update: Chhetry is now going after Three Star Club's Facebook account for using his photos and Brigade Boys Club...

28 October 2009

Top volleyball player gets spiked

A top Nepali volleyball player, Prem Bahadur Shahi, has been kicked off of the SAF Games squad for failing to turn up for practice. He claims he was not able to arrive at the trials on time because of the road from his district being closed. Does the punishment fit the crime? Seems a bit harsh to me, but if the news reporting is accurate, there seems to be a lack of sobriety at the Nepal Volleyball Association.

27 October 2009

ANFA losing the plot

It is outrageous that injured players are being played in a youth level tournament. Why risk the kids' careers in a competition that is meant to develop players? ANFA has really lost the plot.

Although the big names in the squad, Rohit Chand and Dipak Bhushal sustained minor injuries in the first match, coach Shakya hinted there would be no change in the playing set on Tuesday. “After losing the first match, we are under tremendous pressure to win. “I am not in the situation to take risk keeping the key players in the bench,"
-Himalayan Times

Another report says Nepal's top prospect Nirajan Malla is also not fully fit but will be playing.

26 October 2009

Government has the right to ask questions

Politics should not interfere with sports, except when it comes to providing apathetic sports officials tickets to international sporting galas, giving grants to mismanaged sports federations, providing free land for the construction of corruption filled sporting infrastructure projects, and subsidizing international tournaments which have a limited impact both socially and economically for Nepal. That pretty much sums up the sentiments of most of our sports officials.

If the government provides money to a firm for the construction of roads, the public is right to demand the government makes sure that the company is held accountable. Similarly if sports want access to government funds they need to be prepared to answer to Uncle Shyam.

Just the other day the government increased allowances for SAF Games athletes. Will those same athletes and their respective sports association be accountable if they fail to put on an inspired performance in Dhaka? My guess is that they will just make more excuses – the lack of facilities, load-shedding, global warming, an Indian conspiracy against Nepali athletes, etc., etc.

It is not that I do not sympathize with our athletes, the ineptitude of the NSC has been highlighted on numerous occasions on this blog, but too often the government is used as an easy scapegoat to shield the incompetence of our sports associations and the under performance of our athletes. If the government is asked to step-up and bat, athletes and sports associations need to reciprocate.

22 October 2009

Under 16 National Team post-mortem

Goalnepal.com carries my thoughts on Nepal's dismal showing in the AFC Under 16 qualifiers. Unlike the mainstream sports media, I do not think it is correct to blame the players or coaches. ANFA's youth football strategy - or the lack of it - is the real culprit.

20 October 2009

Stadium bidding heats up in Sunsari

And you thought the Olympic Games host city bidding was a competitive affair. Three cities in Sunsari district, Dharan, Inaruwa and Itahari are fighting tooth and nail to land a multi-use stadium which has been promised to the district by the central government. For once I welcome all the political activity we are seeing related to this sports related issue.

Let us hope the fierce lobbying that we are seeing in Sunsari district and the headlines it is making will help highlight the importance of sporting facilities. Nepal's municipalities desperately need more recreational and sporting facilities.

04 October 2009

Rio will save Nepal some blushes

Seven years is a very long time, but the current trajectory of Nepali sports suggests that we will not be any further along than we currently are in our sporting prowess and administration. Therefore, the selection of Rio de Janeiro as the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games is great news for Nepal - as it is the only one out of the four candidate cities (Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid were the others) where our athletes will probably not be tempted to runaway and seek employment at a local gas station.