Nepal’s first ever futsal sojourn

July 6, 2017 – Nepal have been drawn in Group ‘A’ along with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan in the AFC Futsal Championship 2018 Qualifiers, the AFC revealed on Thursday.

Nepal is competing in a futsal event for the first time ever and is the only South Asian nation in the qualifiers scheduled to be held from October 13 – 22 in IR Iran.

The fixture had Nepal’s first match against Uzbekistan on October 15, against Kyrgyzstan (Oct 16) and Turkmenistan (Oct 17).

ANFA Futsal Committee Chairman Ramesh Rayamajhi informed that the committee will be organizing a futsal league featuring 16 teams in August to select the best players.

“Though futsal is arguably the most played sport among youngsters in Kathmandu, playing it in an organized form with accredited rules are rare,” said Rayamajhi.

The first task before organizing the league will be to hold a futsal referee course in August.  The same referee involved in the course will then be conducting the league.

In the league, the organizing committee will make it mandatory for the teams to use coaches with AFC Futsal Coaching License, while the teams (could be from any districts or clubs) have to be registered with ANFA. 

The ANFA had organized the first ever AFC Futsal Coaching Course in February earlier this year. A total of 19 coaches had attended the course conducted by AFC Instructor Hossein Shams from IR Iran.

At the closing ceremony of the course, AFC Instructors Hossein Shams, who has won five Asian Futsal Championship titles with IR Iran, had spoken highly of the participating coaches of course saying that this was one of the ‘best coaching courses’ he had conducted.

Sharing his coaching experiences in other parts of Asia, Shams had said that Nepali coaches were better than the ones he trained in South East Asia.

The Group Winners and Runners-up from each group will qualify for the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship on February 6 to 18. Sixteen teams will compete in the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship.

The ASEAN Football Federation Futsal Championship Vietnam 2017 on October 23 to November 3 will serve as the qualification competition for the ASEAN Zone with four slots up for grabs.

The Islamic Republic of Iran emerged Champions in the 2016 AFC Futsal Championship with Uzbekistan the Runners-up while Thailand and Vietnam finished third and fourth respectively.

Participants of the first ever AFC Futsal Coaching Course:

 1. Bikram Maharjanshy 2. Jeevan Sinkemana 3. Thamman Bhusal 4. Chakra Tamang 5. Ashok Rai 6. Ganesh Budhathoki 7. Saroj Thapa 8. Purushottam Thapa 9. Gaurav Basnet 10. Naresh Shrestha 11. Deepak Bhusal 12. Nabin Maharjan 13. Anil Bahadur Gurung 14. Rajan Neupane 15. Rajesh Khadgi 16. Rakesh Shrestha 17. Chetan Ghimire 18. Sanoj Shrestha 19. Bishnu Gurung.

 Assistant Instructor: Darshan Bhaktaraj.