26 March 2009

GoalNepal.com

Another Nepali football site - GoalNepal - recently launched. At first glance the website looks quite promising with lots of multimedia and interesting features.

The site is linked to other prominent Nepali websites like CyberSansar, so that should definitely help drive traffic to the website. Already there is quite a bit of viewer postings on the site.

It's amazing to see so many Nepali football sites around. It just goes to show the passion for the game in this country.

24 March 2009

Machhindra website back online

As the "A" Division League approaches, Machhindra Football Club's official website is back online after two years in the darkness.

If you know of any other "A" Division club sites please let me know. NRT is the only other top level club that I know of that has one.

Edit: Manang Marsyangdi also has a website

22 March 2009

Nepali Football section of Goal.com coming soon

A well known Nepali football journalist (previously of SoccerAgeNepal.com.np - during the days it was a great website that was regularly updated) is now an editor for Goal.com, one of the most popular football websites in the world. Lots of Nepal football stories can be found on the site and during the Aaha Gold Cup there was even a special section dedicated to the tournament. This is fantastic promotion for Nepali football.

Goal.com has many specific country sections - including a quite comprehensive Indian football section. With a Nepali editor in place, Goal.com only needs a few thousand hits a day from Nepal to start a Nepali football section. So you guys know the drill - let's start clicking!

18 March 2009

PM greeted by two sets of fashion

Both the Sri Lankan and Nepali national teams went to meet the Prime Minister a few days back after the successful completion of the PM Cup. Which team do you feel is more appropriately dressed? (Nepal team above, Sri Lanka team below)




17 March 2009

Footballers showered with cash

The PM Cup winning team has been receiving cash prizes left and right. Imagine how much they will get if they win a tournament that actually counts in the FIFA Rankings. With all the revenues the tournament must have made, the money is well deserved, even though specifically ANFA nor the Government will see any portions of the gate receipts.

16 March 2009

PM Cup Pandamonium

For those who have not picked-up a Nepali newspaper the last few days - the finals of the PM Cup was delirious. Fans were on top of roofs watching the match - chanting, jumping, doing the Mexican wave. Once Nepal won the match after penalty kicks, fans rushed the field and were there for nearly an hour parading with players and officials and dancing to the tunes of the Army marching band. Without a doubt Calcutta and Nepal are the Mecca of South Asian football.

13 March 2009

What goes into a kit design

This is a great article on kit design with an interview with some guys working at Nike. It would be great if Nepali teams had instantly recognizable kits like Argentina, Croatia, Ajax, AC Milan, etc.

12 March 2009

From the Urban Dictionary: Priminister


1. Priminister

1. A word used by people who haven't passed through the education system.
2. A word laughed at by people who have more than 1 IQ point.
1. I seen the Priminister on the news last yesterday
2. When I saw the word 'Priminister', I thought to myself "What kind of _____ would write that?"

11 March 2009

Nepali crowd smartens up


Having watched a few games of the Prime Minister’s Cup at Dasarath Rangasala, I noticed that the sophistication level of fans has risen quite dramatically from years past. Before there would be just a lot of “halla” at the stadium and the average fans had little respect for the nuances of the game. A goal against would be instantly blamed on the helpless Goalkeeper and a passback to a defender would confirm the weakness of a midfielder.

Perhaps because of the wide availability of European football matches on television, in particular the English Premier League, Nepali football fans seem to have grown-up. They now clap when players make good plays. There is sarcastic applause when the opponents make an error. Chanting begins when the home team needs a bit of a lift.

It's not perfect however (nor is it anywhere in the world), as I recalled jeers when Nepali players took the ball to the corner flag to waste time as they were leading 1 - 0 near the end of the Nepal Red - Pakistan match, something that is advocated by most coaches. But certainly Nepali fans' sense of the game is much different than it was few years back.

10 March 2009

PM Cup teams a poor mix


Six teams were invited to the ongoing Prime Minister's Cup football tournament - 2 "B" National Teams from the same country (Nepal Red and Nepal Blue), 2 Clubs (Bangladeshi top division side - Arambagh and a third level side from Thailand - JW), and 2 National Teams (Pakistan and Sri Lanka). This mix of teams is certainly quite unique for a football tournament, but one which was poorly conceived.

What does the public and the national team get out of playing in such a tournament? First off, since the tournament has such a variety of teams, it does not qualify as an official FIFA friendly, thus it will not affect the FIFA World Rankings. Nepal's top players are divided in two camps and therefore lose the opportunity to train and play together as a single team. How do we judge Nepal's result against Sri Lanka and Pakistan when only half the national team featured in each of the games? What do we learn from Nepal's match against a 3rd division Thai club - when surely the Thai National Team will consist of much faster, more skilled and perhaps bigger players? It's like Iceland playing an English 3rd division side to prepare for the likes of Terry, Gerrard and Owen.

Seeing that two national teams accepted an invite, would it not have made much more sense just to have a four team tournament consisting of Nepal (a single team), Sri Lanka, Pakistan and a forth national team? With the money the organizers save from dropping two sides, they could have easily enticed a regional national team to participate in the tournament. All teams would play a minimum of 3 games, the matches would count in the FIFA Rankings and we would have much better insight on Nepal's national team. Seems so logical, no?

06 March 2009

No logos but at least correct colors

In a previous entry I chastised Nepali football clubs for not giving due respect to their sponsors and club identity. I must however commend someone (be it Nepal Bank or the Clubs) for getting the club colors correct in the recently concluded Nepal Bank "A" Division Junior League. Almost every club was playing in their traditional colors (NRT - Green, TSC - Blue, BUC - Yellow, etc.) which is not always the case in Nepali football.

Sports helping tourism

Sorry everyone for the lack of updates. I'm back in Nepal and still getting adjusted, especially to the 20 hours of black-outs.

I just read an interesting article on sports tourism on sportsbusiness.com. Undoubtedly, with Nepal's stunning topography - mountains, hills, lakes, jungles - sports tourism has great potential in Nepal. The recently released NSC Report harped on this point. It seems as though Nepal Tourism Board picked up on the report as they were second tier sponsors of both the Aaha Gold Cup and Budha Subba Cup football tournaments.

Already Nepal is a a prime destination for trekkers and mountaineering, the world elephant polo championships are annually held in Chitwan and sports cyclists are often spotted throughout the back roads of the republic (<--- almost wrote Kingdom). With both ANFA and CAN quite ambitious about hosting international tournaments - sports will really be a boon for the Nepali tourism sector. All this in light of poor infrastructure, blackouts and political uncertainty. If those things get corrected (let's not hold our breathes), imagine the possibilities?