Nepal's No. 1 shot-stopper who started as a striker

In his younger days, Kiran Chemjong often played as a striker or a defender at his village in Rajarani in Dhankuta. A person with tall stature, Chemjong was one day asked by his seniors to play as a goalkeeper during a local match. Chemjong agreed. "It was how I started as a goalkeeper," said Chemjong, now a first-choice goalkeeper of Nepali national side.

Though a hilly district, Chemjong's village in Rajarani had a big football ground where he saw locals and his seniors play there. Before he knew, Chemjong fell in love with the game and started playing. "My mother in particular was worried if my love for the game would hamper my studies. But she was supportive. She gave me money whenever I went outside the village to play football," he said.

After establishing himself in the local games, Chemjong soon found his way to the district-level games. His first visit to Kathmandu was also for a district-level U-16 school football tournament. "Coincidently, it was the same time when there was a selection of national U-16 players in Kathmandu," he said. Chemjong's district lost in the semis but he was urged by his seniors to take part in the selection process conducted by All Nepal Football Association. "I went for selection and during my selection, they gave me selection dates so I could come to Kathmandu from Dhankuta and take part. I passed the selection and remained in All Nepal Football Association's Academy," he said.

After graduating from the academy and playing club level football for a while, Chemjong was called into the national squad and made his debut in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Since then, there have been few to seriously challenge the 6 ft 2 inch stopper for goalkeeping duties. When asked if he regretted playing as a goalkeeper and not a striker, Chemjong said such thought came to his mind in his early career. "When I heard people scolding a goalkeeper after a mistake, I thought I should not have listened to my seniors and instead continue playing as a striker or in any other position. But as days passed by, such thoughts erased off my mind," he said.

Chemjong said goalkeepers are often scrutinized for their mistakes. "When a striker misses numerous opportunities but scores a goal, it is for that goal he is remembered. May be it is because goals win matches but such thing is often not the case with goalkeepers. You become known for the mistake you committed during the game," said Chemjong. 

Having started with Machhindra Club, Chemjong has went on to play for top-tier clubs such as Three Star Club and Manang Marsyangdi Club which earned him number of personal and club awards. He has also played professional football in Maldives and India. "I was playing in the 2016 Solidarity Cup when goalkeeping coach of TC Sports Club messaged him saying they were observing my game and were interested in signing me," said Chemjong. After Nepal won the tournament, Chemjong signed for TC Sports Club. He has also played for Minerva Punjab FC in the I-League, one of the top divisions of Indian football, winning the title in 2017-18 season.

Chemjong said he is among lucky few to receive good mentor from seniors and football academy to succeed in the game. "I am thankful for the football governing body and my seniors and coaches for whatever they taught me but it's time we take game to the next level and for that I think it is more important for corporate sectors and government to actively take part to support the game." Chemjong said there is not much difference between the quality of play between Nepal and India but it is the management and the involvement of other sectors in India that has helped them increase their standard and ripe its benefits.

Chemjong said he will continue to play and is focused to improve his game for both his club and country. "I have not thought about my future but I don't think it will be anything other than football," said Chemjong.

He also said one has to have a sheer determination and make a lot of sacrifice to succeed in any game. "My journey from playing football in Rajarani to the national team may sound easy but there is a lot of hard work and dedication that happened behind the scene," said Chemjong. Chemjong said it is a matter of pride to represent one's country but takes great effort and discipline to reach there. "If you want to reach this level, you have to work hard, be disciplined and most of all respect the game," said Chemjong.

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ANFA online refereeing course held

ANFA online refereeing course held

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) organized a three-day 'ANFA Online Refereeing Course 2020' from August 9 to 11.

The course was targeted for 'B' division league referees and Category 2 referees and assistant referees to update them with the laws of the game. The event organized to provide continuous learning opportunity for referees while football is stopped owing to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking in the first session, ANFA President Karma Tsering Sherpa thanked the refereeing department and instructors for conducting the course and hoped it would help the referees gain knowledge and improve their standard.

President of Nepal Football Referee Association and Head of Referee Department Buddhi Bahadur Gurung and Chairman of ANFA Referee Committee Rabindra Nath Koju were also present in the online event.

ANFA General Secretary Indraman Tuladhar addressed in the closing session and said ANFA was always pitching for the development of referees of the country. Thanking the instructors for holding such program, he also urged them to conduct such program in the future to raise the standard of Nepali referees which would help them to officiate international matches.

List of Participants: Bhogendra Yadav (Dhunusha), Gyan Bahadur Magar (Rupandhi), Laxman Jaswal (Jhapa), Prabin Gautam (TAC), Pratik Ghimire      (Nawalparasi), Ripen Shakya (Rupandhi), Sabin Dhakal (Kathmandu), Santosh Gurung (Pokhara), Shyam Bahadur Khadka (Nepaljung), Tufan Kumar Limbu (Dhankuta), Sanu Maiya Magar (Bara), Uma Shrestha (Kathmandu), Ranjana Yolmoo (Ilam), Kriti Sen (Rupandhi).

Instructors: Buddhi Bahadur Gurung, Shree Ram Ranjitkar, Gajendra man Singh, Kalpana Sharma, Laba Khatri, Sailesh Joshi

Course Coordinator:  Rojen Shrestha – FIFA Assistant Referee

Observers : Bina Shrestha – Women FIFA Assistant Referee, Prakash Nath Shrestha – AFC Academy Referee (Category 1), Prajwol Chettri – AFC Academy Referee (Category 1)

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Futuro III Online Course for referee instructors conducted

Futuro III Online Course for referee instructors conducted

A three-day Futuro III Online Course for referee instructors (AFC – South Region) has been conducted from 1-3 August 2020.

A total of 24 referees from 10 different countries took part in the online course organized by FIFA.

Three Referee Instructors – Buddhi Bahadur Gurung, Laba Khatri and Kalpana Sharma took part in the course from Nepal.

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FIFA Online refereeing course held for Nepalese referees

FIFA Online refereeing course held for Nepalese referees

A three-day online refereeing course was held for Nepalese referees from June 24 to 26.

The event titled 'FIFA Online Refereeing Course 2020' was organized by FIFA in collaboration with All Nepal Football Association (ANFA). ANFA had invited 35 members of FIFA and Category 1 referees, assistant referees and eight local instructors, both technical and fitness, to participate in the online course.

The course was conducted by FIFA Technical Instructor John Chia Eng and FIFA Fitness Instructor Ganesan Maniam, both from Singapore while the event was observed by FIFA Refereeing Development Officer Mohamad Rodzali Yacob from Malaysia.

ANFA President Karma Tsering Sherpa addressed the first session and welcomed the participants of the course. With the course specially designed for top class referees of Nepal, Sherpa remarked the participants acquainted themselves with the new and changed laws of the game and believed such course would help improve the standard of Nepalese referees.

The course was conducted as per the new training format of refereeing development with support form the FIFA Refereeing Department. ANFA Referee Department also coordinated to provide the course to men and women referees.

The primary objective of the course was to provide continuous learning opportunity and to provide support to referees, assistant referees, instructors and assessors when football is halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Participants of the course said the online course was very fruitful in achieving the objectives set for referees and instructors.

List Of Participants: Sudish Kumar Pandey, Nabindra Maharjan, Shraban Kumar Tamang, Kabin Byanjankar, Nani Ram Thapa Magar, Rojen Shrestha, Madhav Khatri, Yunal Malla, Prakash Nath Shrestha, Prajwol Chhetri, Shyam Danuwar, Sukra Tamang ,Bikram Chaudhary, Prakash Bhujel, Ganesh Chaudhary, Kishan Yadav, Prajesh Amatya, Biswas Karki, Asmita Manandhar, Bina Shrestha, Maya Lama, Anjana Rai ,Marina Dhimal, Radhika Shakya & Laxmi Shrestha.

List Of Local Referee Instructors: Buddhi Bahadur Gurung, Gajendra Man Singh, Kalpana Sharma, Laba Khatri, & Sailesh Joshi.       

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