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Nepal Football – A Meaningful Emotion, More than A Crazy Sport

ANFA’s efforts & Nepalis passion for football has helped the game grow leaps & bounds in Nepal.

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Nepal Football – A Meaningful Emotion, More than A Crazy Sport

“The thing about football – the important thing about football – is that it is not just about football.” ― Terry Pratchett

While a group of 22 players play on a green field, it’s no more a team emotion, it’s become an entire stadium’s emotion and more like the whole world’s emotion.

When the FIFA world cup brings playing-countries together, it weaves the whole world together to watch a country’s fate unfold in a game of football.


And that’s why football is not a game, it is an emotion!

There’s not one country, state or city that Football has left untouched, not even little Nepal that sits cozily tucked amidst a mass of giant countries.

And if there’s anything that has Nepal’s youngsters’ adrenaline running, it is football! But of course after national game volleyball and cricket!

From national level players to state and district-level, Nepal’s frenzy for football sport has not gone unnoticed.

But the question remains, from where was this sport born?

A Walk Down Memory Lane— Football’s Evolution

There are many different theories on how and where the game evolved but the earliest record is found in China.

The origin of Football dates back to the Chinese Han and Qin dynasties as recognized by the International Federation of Football (FIFA). It was recognized by the name ‘cujju’ in the second and third centuries B.C.

Similarly, the Japanese also played a foot game called ‘kemari’ that started within the boundaries of the imperial court in 600 A.D

japan kemari football

Ancient Greek and Rome also recorded the playing of many ball games that involved the usage of feet. The Roman game was called ‘harpastum’ and was adopted from a Greek team game ‘episkyros’ played between the third century.

But the modern game of ‘football’ only began in 1863 in England with the division of ‘rugby football’ and ‘association football’. This gave birth to the Football Association in England, forming the world’s first football governing body.

The game thrived in the British Isles between the 18th and 19th centuries in the form of various regional and local versions.

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA)

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) - LogoAll Nepal Football Association (ANFA) is the governing body for football in Nepal, founded in 1951. It is affiliated with FIFA since 1972 and is regulatory for national and club-level competitions in Nepal.

ANFA is headquartered at Satdobato, Lalitpur and led by ANFA President Karma Tsering Sherpa.

It works for the development of football in Nepal with two important approaches:

  • Grassroot Development
  • Education

With Grassroot football, ANFA aims to develop the quality of the game and interest among youth right from local and minute-level. All amateur and non-partial elite are initiatives of grassroot football.

ANFA’s grassroot program promotes the theme “Participation Based on Interest – Not Skill,” which believes that children should not be forced but allowed to choose football as a sport.

ANFA Education is the association’s step towards creating awareness among people about football culture worldwide and its impact on people’s life.

It creates this awareness through awareness programs, capacity buildups and different workshops. Additionally, it provides administration coaching and management education to encourage people to pursue a career and build interest in Nepali football.

Nepal Football Tournaments and Teams

ANFA’s efforts & Nepalis passion for football has helped the game grow leaps & bounds in Nepal.

Following are the 2018 tournaments and competitions Nepal participated in:

  • Asia Olympic Qualifiers
  • SAFF U15 Championship
  • AFC U19 Group B Women’s Quarter Finals
  • Asian Games 2018
  • SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018

Nepal National Teams

Nepal has a team of dedicated players for every level of competition including:

  • Nepal Men’s National Team
  • Nepal Men’s Futsal Team
  • Nepal U23
  • Nepal U19
  • Nepal U16
  • Nepal U15

The Himalayan nation has dedicated women’s teams including:

  • Nepal Women’s National Team
  • Nepal Women’s Team
  • Nepal U19 Women’s Team
  • Nepal U16 Women’s Team

Nepal Football Promotion 2018 Initiatives

  • On October 23, 2018, Nepal’s ANFA and the Qatar Football Association signed an agreement to promote the game in both countries, which involves both parties for collaboration, managerial cooperation and exchange programs for officials technical experts and others
  • On October 19, 2018, renowned Spanish Football Club Atletico Madrid collaborated with Nepal’s West Kathmandu Football Club (WKFC) to develop football in Nepal. Atletico’s Manager Fernando Lopez signed a MoU with Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) President Bhawan Bhatia
  • In July 2018, FIFA approved Nepal’s first women’s football academy at Chandranigahapur in Rautahat district. The proposed academy will be built across an area of six bighas at a cost of Rs 30 million and will host close to 100 players.

Nepal Football 2018 Achievements

Nepal’s recent performances proved its metal in football. Whether winner, not a winner, the Himalayan Nation managed to maintain its position among the top teams throughout 2018. Here are some of Nepal’s key achievements in football

  • Earlier in January 2018, Nepal registered sounding victories against Bangladesh and Japan in the opening matches of the Sixth Asian Community Football Tournament organized by the Qatar Football Association (QFA). Nepal defeated Bangladesh and Japan 2-0, respectively at the Doha Stadium
  • In March 2018, Nepal went on to defeat Sri Lanka in one of the matches against Sri Lanka at the Sixth Asian Non-Resident Football Tournament. Again Nepal beat Sri Lanka 2-0 to secure a position in the semifinals. Shiva Shrestha and Rakesh Saapkota sent home the team’s winning shots
  • In April 2018, young footballer Bidit Man Tuladhar was selected for European Football Powerhouse Real Madrid’s Training Camp. Tuladhar emerged as the ‘best trainee’ during the training camp organized by Real Madrid Foundation coaches and UEFA ‘A’ license holders Daniel Landaburu Rotella and Rafael Palacios in June 2017.
  • In May 2018, Nepal hosted the Gazprom Football for Friendship Program which witnessed the participation of 200 countries on the occasion of International Day of Football and Friendship. Nepal’s young player Girish Maskey and some others were selected to represent their country at the F4F international program with the other 211 young participants
  • In September 2018, Nepal gave a remarkable performance for the ‘semifinal qualifier’ at the South Asian Football Federation. In the group stage finals, Nepal beat Bangladesh 2-0 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. Bina Garthi Magar and Nawayug Shrestha 33rd and 90th-minute shots took the team to its victory.
  • In October 2016, Nepal failed to win the trophy of the South Asian Football Federation U-18 Women’s Championship. But it sure did emerge as Runners-up at the prestigious event. Moreover, Nepal’s Rekha Paudel was conferred ‘Player with 7 Goals’ second highest after Bangladesh’s Masura Parwin
  • Towards the end of October 2018, Nepal beat Maldives to enter the semi-finals in the SAFF U15 Men’s Championship. Nepal beat its opponent at a remarkable 4-0 score.
Nepal to gold at the 1984 South Asian Games in Kathmandu

Jochen Figge leads Nepal to gold at the 1984 South Asian Games in Kathmandu

Nepal 1993 SAFF championship

Nepal 1993 SAFF championship

Nepal Team Wins Gold Medal 12th South Asian Games (SAG)

Nepal 12th South Asian Games (SAG) Winner 2016

Under-23 Nepal Team Won Gold Medal 12th South Asian Games (SAG)With so many achievements and potential players, Nepal has a long and promising journey for Football in the country. We wish that Nepal wins the prestigious AFC U23 Championship 2020.

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