News COVID 19 & The Time Line Of Nepalese Football

The Year 2020 came as an unexpected surprise to the world, Covid-19, the virus that shook the word, affected about roughly 185 million people and took the lives of nearly 4 million people and counting. Billions of other lives were also affected either directly or indirectly with the virus taking a huge toll on the world economy.

Nepal similarly to most countries, was also hit hard by the virus. According to WHO, currently there have been about 637 thousand cases and 9071 deaths from Covid in Nepal. Likewise, Football like most sectors in the world was also affected due to the virus.

The current manager of Real Madrid Carlo Ancelotti once said, “Football is the most important things of the least important things in the world.” Competitions all round the world were rightly suspended indefinitely because of Covid. This was not the time for sports but was a time for unity.

Teams all around the world despite their differences, joined forces to help the needy. The All-Nepal Football Association (ANFA) provided a helping hand to the Government of Nepal with the association’s hotel, its dormitories and the residential girls’ football academy as quarantine and isolation wards. ANFA also provided two FIFA funded ambulances to the Government.

Nepalese Football then took a break for a couple of months until November 13 2020 when Nepal played two international friendly matches against Bangladesh. Although, the results weren’t the best with the Nepalese National team being beaten 2-0 in the first game and a drab stalemate in the other game the results weren’t the main focus on the two matches.

Witnessing their beloved National players competing after a yearlong of absence was enough for the fans to get excited. On March of 2021 Nepal made a big statement with the announcement of Three Nations League in a fully packed Dashrath Rangasala.

Fans were ecstatic with the news as they had watched their beloved play just a few home games due to the 4-year renovation of the 15000-seater Stadium, post the 2015 earthquake. The Nepalese National team were outstanding during the entire tournament beating a strong team like Bangladesh, the team who beat them earlier in 2020 to clinch the title.

This victory brought smiles back to the fans faces after a long and tedious year. The Nepalese team then went to Kuwait for all their remaining FIFA world cup qualifiers including the home matches due to the then Covid condition of the country The Nepalese team performed admirably relative to the quality of their opponents in the tournament.

The two wins against Chinese Taipei were enough to take Nepal to the final round of Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers.

Honestly, Tri-nation glory, Nepal Super League & the two wins against Chinese Taipei were the highlights of COVID19 pandemic.

Given the current circumstances the Nepali National team, The All-Nepal football Association showed quite an influential humanitarian spirit with the National team performing quite well as well.

ANFA helping out the nation during it’s time of need deemed to be appreciation worthy and we all hope all parties involved continue such positive actions in the nearby future too.

Pranish Bista

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