News ANFA Is A Pathetic Political Club (Senior Columnist Sushil Thapa Writes...)
Sushil Thapa

Misery,humiliation, agony continues to pile up for the national football team of Nepal in international football.

It has been much the same story for Team Nepal lately. Another match, resulting in another failure. What a disappointment !

The most recent setback against Tajikistan in the 2019 Asian Football Confederation Asia Cup qualifiers in Dushanbe, Tajikistan speaks volumes about the dire straits of Nepal football.

Once again, Nepal faltered badly and was comprehensibly beaten by the host. Contrary to expectations, they put up a sloppy performance marked by repeated defensive lapses and mediocrity and paid dearly for it at the end.

There hardly was a moment in the match, the visitors stood out and looked threatening.It was a familiar sight- they struggled to work as a unit, lacked pace and physical presence to match the home side that dominated the proceedings and enjoyed territorial advantage for the most part.

To put it short, they underperformed and found themselves on the receiving end of a hugely disappointing 3-0 defeat. They were outplayed in all departments in a lopsided encounter.

And , as a result, the two remaining matches for Nepal has become of academic interest merely. That being said, they still have the opportunity to sign off the competition with consolation points and regain some confidence moving ahead.Whether they can achieve it or not is a question mark and remains to be seen.

Right now they are a disjointed, dispirited pack, lacking passion and drive necessary to inspire their performance. This has to change right away, else, their woes could multiply even more.

With one home and away fixtures against Philippines and Yemen respectively, Nepal faces a mighty challenge to reverse a trend of lacklustre performance going by their present form. They just have to give it their best shot.

Now that they have slipped further and further from grace , the focus must be to avoid the wooden spoon. They have nothing to lose and everything to win.Whether they will be able to accomplish something or not depends entirely on their ability to bounce back with a vengeance.

I am not sure how all this is going to change,especially under the present football body that has no accountability,credibility and is destroying football like never seen before.

Indeed the team’s performance level has gone from bad to worse since Japanese Coach Koji Gyotoku took over.He has failed to create, build a winning combination and get his priorities straight. The team is yet to show real signs of improvement and progress on the field.

The Coach has hardly done anything to address the problems and shortcomings besetting the team. Players’ physical conditioning and mindset, coupled with coaching style , poor planning and preparation continue to impede the team’s progress.

Agreed that with no or little support from the football association and limited resources and logistical support, I understand he can do nothing much even if he wants to.

My only objection is he has remained a mere spectator and done nothing to pressurize ANFA to change things when it comes to timely and proper preparations of the national team for international competitions.

We have had a number of foreign coaches in recent years but they have not delivered the result, and, more important, the team has not improved and will not improve under foreign coaches.

So, is foreign coach worth the spending? In my opinion, hiring a foreign coach has become totally irrelevant and a sheer waste of money, and it is time homegrown coaches are recognized and provided the opportunity to handle the national team.

There is no dearth of qualified coaches in the country who have been overlooked by ANFA for a long period of time.

The decline of football in Nepal is largely the result of decades of poor leadership,corruption,bad governance and rampant mismanagement in ANFA and lack of competitiveness in domestic football , poor infrastructure and playing facilities.

I am sorry to say that Nepal football has no direction because ANFA is being run by the few, for the few who has transformed ANFA into a pathetic political club.

No wonder Nepal football is so far behind. Long as ANFA maintains the political club status, football will further sink into oblivion.

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