KATHMANDU – The Nepali national football team, which has won the first-runner up in the 13th SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship held in the Maldives, returned home today. In the tournament, Nepal entered the SAFF final scripting a history in 28 years of the SAFF establishment. The team conceded a 3-0 defeat to India in the final on Saturday night.
At Tribhuvan International Airport, the team was welcomed by Minister for Youth and Sports Maheshwor Gahatraj and the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) office-bearers. Likewise, well-wishers and football supporters were seen at TIA to welcome the team. They chanted ‘Thank You Abdullah’, the team coach.
Team manager Abdullah Al Mutairi straightly left for Kuwait from Maldives. As he said, he will take a break for two weeks and then will decide whether to return to Nepal or not. A total of five countries participated in the regional soccer championship. India has clinched the title eighth time.
Meantime, Kushma Municipality in Parbat has announced a cash prize for the Nepali footballers who have brought home a historic achievement in the SAFF. According to mayor Ramchandra Joshi, the local government has decided to award the team with a cash prize carrying a purse of Rs 200 thousand in recognition of its history-breaking performance in the SAFF.
“Despite limited resources, we have decided to honour the team to value its success in the regional tournament,” he added.