Sunday, April 21

‘Nepal cannot qualify for Asia Cup’

By a Staff Reporter

Kathmandu – Nepal’s national football team coach Abdullah Al Mutairi has said that Nepal cannot qualify for the AFC Asia Cup. He made such remarks on the day he started training the team for the competition.

The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) has started preparations for the third round of Asia Cup qualifiers starting from Friday. Following the first day of training at the Dasharath Stadium, coach Al Mutairi said, “We are pitted against strong teams. We cannot qualify for the Asia Cup. It is not appropriate to blame the players for this.”

He reminded that he kept his word of guiding Nepal to the final of SAFF Championship while taking up his role as the national team’s coach. However, he made it clear that Nepal cannot qualify for the Asia Cup.

“It is not good to have high expectations. But our team will try give a tough challenge to the opponents,” he said.

The team’s manager Madhu Sudhan Upadhyay informed that out of the 25 players called for training all but Kiran Chemjong and Devendra Tamang have arrived. Chemjong is playing professional football in the Maldives.

Among the players called for training, 11 are staying at ANFA hostel while others will be staying at their home, informed Upadhyay.

Coach Al Mutairi informed that the closed camp training will be held in Qatar after a few days of training here.

Nepal are in Group A of Asian Cup qualifiers along with Jordan, Kuwait and Indonesia. All the matches will be held in Kuwait. Nepal will face Jordan on June 8 followed by a match against Kuwait on June 11 and against Indonesia on June 14.

25-member Nepali squad

Kiran Kumar Limbu (Goalkeeper), Deep Karki (Goalkeeper), Bishal Shrestha (Goalkeeper), Ananta Tamang, Anjan Bista, Arik Bista, Aayush Ghalan, Bikash Khawas, Bimal Gharti Magar, Darshan Gurung, Devendra Tamang, Dinesh Rajbanshi, Gautam Shrestha, Manish Dangi, Navayug Shrestha, Pujan Uparkoti, Rohit Chand, Santosh Tamang, Sujal Shrestha, Suman Aryal, Suman Lama, Sunil Bal, Suraj Jyu Thakuri, Tej Tamang and Bishal Rai.

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