KATHMANDU, Sept 28: The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) on Thursday said that it has completed all the preparations for the Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League, which is set to kick off on Saturday.
The league, which is taken as major football tournament of the country, is starting after a hiatus for five years, will be played at the ANFA Complex and Armed Police Force’s Halchowk Stadium in Kathmandu.
The ANFA has already announced that there will be no relegation in league this season. The decision not to relegate any team however was criticized from all sides.
General Secretary of the ANFA, Indra Man Tuladhar shared that all the 14 participating clubs have registered the names of their necessary minimum players for the league.
“All the preparations for the league have been completed and every clubs have registered their players for the league which is starting after a gap of five years,’’ Tuladhar said, “There will be two games before the Bangabandhu Gold Cup. The departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club will take on New Road Team (NRT) in the first game, while the second game will be played between CMG Sankata Club and Saraswati Yuwa Club.”
The officials of the clubs were dissatisfied with the participation of the Nepal national football team in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup saying that it can affect the performances of the clubs in the league. When asked about that, Tuladhar said that the matches will be postponed till Nepal remains in the cup in Bangladesh.
“We have unveiled the match schedules as per the practice of the international stage. If Nepal enters the next round from the group stages of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup, also the league matches will be postponed. We will not organize those games until further notice,’’ Tuladhar further added, “If Nepal fails to qualify to the next round, we will inform the clubs 72 hours earlier. We will try to complete the second round of league games before Dashain-Tihar festival.’’
Likewise, the League Coordinator Bigyan Raj Sharma said that the ANFA has introduced a special mechanism to monitor if there is any match fixing during the league.
“We have formed a separate committee to stop any act of match fixings. We will also use CC cameras for the first time in the league for security issues,’’ said Sharma, “We will give a special attention to maintain the league’s integrity.’’
The winner of the tournament will take home Rs 5 million, while the runner-up will get Rs 3.5 million and the third-placed team will receive Rs 2.5 million.
The fourth, fifth, and the sixth-placed teams will bag Rs 1.5 million, Rs 700,000 and Rs 500,000, respectively.
Likewise, the ANFA had also said that it will provide the 14 participating teams with Rs 2 million each in order to support them for the preparations. Also, it will give the fair play award, with a trophy and Rs 100,000, to the team that performs disciplined football throughout the tournament.
Similarly, the best goalkeeper, the best defender, the best midfielder, the best forward and the best coach will get a motorbike each, while the winning team of the league will get a chance to play in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
The league’s name will be Pulsar Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League.
Likewise, the two bottom teams- finishing in the 13th and the 14th places- will not be relegated, but they will have their points deducted by one and two respectively at the start of the next season. Also, they will have to pay Rs 300,000 and Rs 200,000 as a fine.