By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu – A 23-member Nepali football team on Wednesday left for Doha of Qatar for practice ahead of the Asian Cup Qualifiers to be held in Kuwait in June.
Minister for Youth and Sports Maheshwar Jung Gahatraj bade farewell to the team amid a function in the capital on Tuesday. The team will undergo training in Qatar from May 25 to June 3. During the training period, Nepal will play friendly matches against Oman and Timor Leste.
Nepal will face Timor Leste on coming Saturday while the match against Oman has been fixed for next Friday. The team will then fly to Kuwait on June 3. The team will compete I n the Asian Cup qualifiers from June 8 to 14 and then return back to Nepal on June 15.
Nepal has been drawn in Group A along with the hosts Kuwait, Jordan and Indonesia. Nepal will face Jordan on June 8, Kuwait on June 11 and Indonesia on June 14. The top teams from each group and the five best runners-up will qualify for the Asian Cup Qualifiers to be held in China in 2023.
The Nepali squad is headed by forward Navyug Shrestha after 10 senior players and regular Captain Kiran Chemjong were left out of the team following an altercation with chief coach Abdullah Al Mutairi over the players’ accommodation. Chemjong was outside the country when the incident occurred in late April but he too was axed for expressing solidarity with the players.
Nepal’s Final Squad:
Goalkeeper: Deep Karki,, Bishal Sunar and Tikendra Singh Thapa
Defenders: Bikash Khawas, Bikash Tamang, Gautam Shrestha, Rajan Gurung, Shiva Gurung and Suman Aryal
Midfielders: Aakash Budha Magar, Arik Bista, Nir Kumar Rai, Pujan Uparkoti, Roshan Rana Magar, Santosh Tamang, Sesehang Angdembe, Sunil Bal and Suraj Jyu Thakuri
Forwards: Aayush Ghalan, Sarshan Gurung, George Prince Karki, Manish Dangi and Navayug Shrestha