07 March 2010

Martyrs League football

A few thoughts on the Martyrs League so far:

With 12 clubs and virtually no lightweights (i.e. Bansbari Club, Brigade Boys) this is the fiercest league in memory. Any team can win on any given day. Many might point to the exodus of star players from the big clubs as to the reason why, but even the less fancied clubs like Machhindra and Jawlakhel have had to completely reload their rosters. Hopefully ANFA will leave the number of teams at 12 or reduce it further to ensure a strong level of play. There just is not the need or enough talent for more teams in the top flight.

Crowds have been disappointing, but perhaps it is a reflection of Nepal today. With constant bandhs, security issues, and chaotic transportation system – people are just not willing to make an effort to attend matches. Having games everyday kills the novelty of going to the stadium, but with the AFC Presidents Cup looming ANFA has little choice but to conclude the league as quickly as possible.

With so many players leaving Nepal for opportunities abroad, a lot of new players have had to fill the holes. Most of them are settling in quite well. It proves that there really is not much difference in the standard of players across the country. In a way it is an indictment on our top players who still take an amateur approach to their careers, thus they are only marginally better than the rest of the pack.

Have they done anything to really develop themselves? They continue to treat football as a hobby. Their lack of professionalism is highlighted by MMC replacing their famous sky blue and white striped jerseys (see photo below left) with a bland blue shirt they found at the Adidas store (see photo below right). If they can’t even get their club colors right, how can we expect bigger things from them?  
Update: MMC have gone back to playing with their traditional kits. Hurray!