16 January 2024

Nepal Super League - just keep it going!

Nepal Super League
Photo courtesy of Nepal Super League Facebook page

Due to travel and time zones, I did not get to catch as much of the second edition of the Nepal Super League (NSL) as I might have hoped. Nonetheless, I received regular updates via social media and from folks on the ground. Here are a few brief takeaways from the recently completed competition:

  • NSL is clearly a cut above any other football tournament in Nepal in terms of standard of play and marketing (both league and franchises). It provides a great benchmark for other soccer competitions in the country and contributes greatly to the football ecosystem

  • The NSL needs 3 or 4 more consecutive years of play to clearly embed itself in the football landscape. Continuity is key. Any potential hiatus and it risks becoming another political pawn in Nepali football politics - as it was in the last ANFA elections

  • NSL club franchises must be sustainable. If I am the NSL management, I take learnings from the likes of MLS (USA), ISL (India) and A-League (Australia) - all franchise leagues, and copy their best practices. Minimize costs, scale resources, create exclusivity and provide opportunities to generate revenues

  • You can't expect football fans in Kathmandu alone to sustain the NSL. Especially in an area that has so many other entertainment options. Games need to be played outside the Valley and franchises need to be able to tap into additional revenues a local fanbase and a dedicated venue can generate

NSL is on the right track and has been a great boon for domestic football. It has given football fans and observers a peek into the potential of Nepali football.  The main thing now is to just keep it going.