Nepali fans aren’t really the best fans in the world and don’t have a very rich fan culture.
We don’t take cleverly crafted banners to games, we don’t make up songs for our players and sing them out loud for the full 90 minutes, nor do we do the same to give stick to the opponent players.
But when Nepal are attacking or even have a small front foot in the game, the Nepalese fans explode into a racket that would blow off the imaginary roof of Dashrath Rangashala.
We have all felt it and so have opposition players, when Nepali fans get going, we sure provide the players with a new spring to their tired steps.
Now when news broke out of Nepal playing in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, not much was expected of them away from home as exemplified by their 4-1 loss against Phillipines at Manila.
Despite the score line, Nepal showed good spirit to fight even with 10 men. Combine that battling spirit with the wild support of nearly 20 thousand people at home, and it was clear from the beginning that any noise Nepal would make in the group stages would be when they were being backed by this home crowd.
But thanks to the snail paced renovations work that has had almost zero progress since the earthquake that damaged the national stadium exactly 2 years ago, Nepal has lost the one thing that could have helped carried the team to wins, Nepal’s raucous home support.
With Dashrath Rangashala damaged, Nepal don’t really have another stadium or city that meets the requirements of AFC to host games. That leaves ANFA with no option to make do with the stadium at AFC headquarters that can hold less than 2000 people.
Although ANFA has said they would make arrangements of temporary seats, they are going to be shaky, uncomfortable and they’re going to be worrisome for a fan to even reach to tie their shoelaces, let alone jump around, create waves, and shout on the top of their in support of their team.
Anyway I can’t understand how you can suddenly increase the capacity of a stadium that can hold less than 2000 people, to hold more than 5000 or so spectators.
We can talk about Bimal Gharti Magar, Rohit Chand, Anjan Bista or even the absence of Bikram Lama after his red card in the first game, but the biggest loss for Nepal is the lack of their incredible home support which when unleashed could spur the team to victory against some very tough opponents.