UPGRADE OF GRASSROOTS INFRASTRUCTURE IN DISTRICTS
In order to support grassroots football, the association has been focusing primarily on the promotion of youth football at grassroots and on the steady and sustainable development of grassroots infrastructure. With the support of FIFA Forward 1.0 Program, the Association has taken the opportunity to upgrade the infrastructure in all the 45 active Districts of Nepal to organize Grassroots activities and events. The total amount contributed by FIFA for the special project is USD 275,000, which is also the total project cost.
Money has given to DFAs by the Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Nepal Mr. Ishwor Pokhrel on August 28, 2018. All the 45 district football associations were provided NRs. 500,000 each for infrastructure development. Of the 45 districts, 11 hills districts were provided NRs. 500,000 extra considering the challenges in building infrastructure due to difficult land terrain accessibility and cost of raw materials. These 11 districts are Baglung, Dhankuta, Dolakha, Illam, Jumla, Kavre, Lamjung, Palpa, Panchthar, Sindhupalchowk and Syangja.
70% of the total entitlement of each district was paid in cheque to the concerned District Football Association (DFA) office-bearer in a ceremony that day. DFAs were also encouraged to get funding from local government and not depend exclusively on the funding given by FIFA through ANFA. Each DFA was asked to source its own vendor and complete the infrastructure upgradation in its territory and to report back to the MA. So, the individual DFAs completed the project with ANFA carrying out a verification check at the end. This type of project involving so many DFAs was the first of its kind in Nepal and since all the DFAs are run by honorary people who love the game so it did take considerable time for them to chalk out their plans and arrange the logistics to execute the project.
The situation of the district grounds at the time of conception of the project was as follows:
• Most grounds were full of stones and uneven posing great danger to the players
• Most grounds did not have toilets or changing rooms in the ground
• Even proper fencing was missing and so animals used to roam around freely. In some places it was used as driving track for learners of motor training schools
• Very few DFAs had an office space
ANFA understands and accepts that the environment, infrastructure and facilities should be appropriate and player friendly to develop Football in Nepal. The critically important aspects are: Quality of the playing ground; sound environment and proper infrastructure. The playground needs not only to be safe but also to inspire the grassroots players to better standards of performance. The development of Grassroots infrastructure is the foundation to develop and grow the game; ultimately, it will help create immense value by developing more talents for the country (both boys and girls) in the years to come.
The beneficiaries of this project are:
1. It will benefit Grassroots players (boys and girls) of various age groups;
2. It will help attract more children to the game of football;
3. The DFAs and local clubs will find it easier to organize tournaments & trainings;
4. The entire community will benefit since football is no 1 sport in Nepal.
5. It will in the long run ultimately improve the quality of the Nepal national teams at the youth levels.
The photos of the project can be found in gallery