02 June 2018

Regional cups sustaining Nepali football both nationally and locally

In the absence of top-level league competitions for the past three years, regional cup competitions such as the Nepalgunj Gold Cup have been crucial in sustaining Nepali football in this period.

Along with its sister tournaments in Pokhara, Dharan, Butwal, Biratnagar, Birtamod, Simara and elsewhere, the Nepalgunj Gold Cup is providing much needed matches and money to football stakeholders including national level players, coaches, referees and clubs whose livelihoods and operations have been severely jeopardized by the shutdown of league competitions.

The regional cups are also a major boon to local football. For fans - they bring celebrated clubs and players and high standard of matches, which are mostly concentrated in Kathmandu, to different corners of the country. For players - they provide a platform to compete against the top talents and clubs in the country. For administrators - it gives them experience in organizing tournaments and looking after the matches, logistics, sponsorship and marketing that come along with it.

Furthermore, if well run, the regional cups can raise quite a bit of revenue which ideally should be ploughed back into local football. For example, Sahara Club Pokharas impressive training centre was built on the profits of the Aaha! Gold Cup. Hopefully, the Nepalgunj Gold Cup will eventually create a similar legacy, but for now it is already playing a crucial role in supporting football at the national and local levels.