Tuesday, July 23

ANFA Announces Preliminary Squad for FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

By a Staff Reporter

Kathmandu – The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) has announced the 30 membered preliminary squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, set to commence in October.

The Nepal National Team Head Coach Vincenzo Alberto Annesse has decided to omit six players from the previous team that represented Nepal in the SAFF Championship where Nepal was unable to progress beyond the Group Stage.

Bishal Shrestha, Nishan Khadka, Pujan Uperkoti, Nabin Lama, Mani Lama, and Deepak Raj Singh Thakuri have been left out while Anjan Rai, Chhiring Rai, Utsab Rai, and Bibek Paudel have earned their first-ever call-up to the preliminary squad. According to rumors, Bishal is reportedly considering taking a break from his national team career, while it is expected that other players may be departing for Australia.

Additionally, Abishek Baral, Kritish Ratna Chhunju, Anish Deula, Bishal Tamang, Anjal Maharjan, Ashish Gurung, Dinesh Henjan, and Gillespye Jung Karki, who previously took part in Coach Annesse’s strategic training, have been included in the preliminary squad.

Nepal will participate in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers’ first round scheduled to take place in October. To advance to the second round, Nepal must successfully navigate the two-leg playoff stage.

Preliminary Squad:

Goalkeepers: Kiran Kumar Limbu (RG Punjab FC), Anish Deula (Jawalakhel Youth Club), Deep Karki (Manang Marsyangdi Club), Abhishek Baral (Satdobato Youth Club)

Defenders: Bimal Panday (Tribhuvan Army FC), Sanish Shrestha (APF Football Club), Ananta Tamang (Church Boys United), Devendra Tamang (Machhindra Football Club), Ashish Gurung (Manang Marsyangdi Club), Rohit Chand (Persic Kedri), Simanta Thapa (Jawalakhel Youth Club), Anjal Maharjan (Friends Club), Chhiring Lama (Jawalakhel Youth Club), Anjan Rai (Nepal Police Club)

Midfielders: Arik Bista (Church Boys United), Sudip Gurung (Satdobato Youth Club), Laken Limbu (Three Star Club), Awas Lamichhane (APF Football Club), Utsav Rai (Machhindra Football Club), Bishal Tamang (Jawalakhel Youth Club), Bibek Poudel (Church Boys United), Kritish Ratna Chhunju (NRT)

Forwards: Ayush Ghalan (Sankata Club), Nawayug Shrestha (Tribhuvan Army FC), Anjan Bista (Church Boys United), Manish Dangi (Sankata Club), Aashish Chaudhary (Church Boys United), Bimal Gharti Magar (Machhindra Football Club), Gillespye Jung Karki (Tribhuvan Army FC), Dinesh Henjan (Tribhuvan Army FC)

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