By Sushil Thapa, Fairfax, VA
A tournament concludes and I get to write another report card. I reckon you are vexed and tired of browsing through my so called observation at times.
I acknowledge sometimes my write-ups get monotonous and predictable as a Hindi movie, and I am guilty of becoming repetitive in terms of addressing the issues related to domestic football.
Trust me, my intentions are not to turn off readers and scribble words and sentences for the sake of it. By and large, the issues I embrace are strictly various aspects of football, and I try my very best to put things in perspective.
As a matter of fact, in the context of Nepali football one is left with very few options when it comes to relevant issues. You have no choice but attend to, even if it means picking the same talking points.
For someone like me, whose biggest passion is Nepali sports, I cannot stop myself from what I have been doing for long. I am by no means an expert of any kind, but that certainly does not disqualify me from putting my thoughts into words.
At least I have been associated with sports long enough to comprehend, especially Nepali sports inside and out. Let me be straight and clear, my motive is not self -serving.
My priorities are getting to the truth and talking about those (athletes, coaches, officials, organizations, clubs, individuals, groups and many more) dedicated to the cause of sports. Although I live thousands kilometers across the pond, I continue to figuratively criss-cross the playing fields across the country.
Let me get back to talking about football. Obviously, the subject is Dharan’s own premier tournament Budha Subba Gold Cup that concluded not long ago.
After a long wait star-studded Three Star Club (TSC) was able to rule the roost in the 14th edition of the championship .
A new look Manang Marsyangdhi Club (MMC) aiming for a spectacular hat-trick of titles just fell short in the final against their arch-rival by a solitary goal.
Played in front of packed galleries the Lalitpur outfit looking for their first title in two years had the last laugh in an evenly contested final. The winning goal came off the boot of international Santosh Sahukhala.
Man of the match Kiran Chemzong (TSC) played a pivotal role in his team’s victory. On the other hand, MMC had to pay the price for not taking one of their chances. Nonetheless, they did well to reach the final.
It was a very important win for TSC, considering the fact that they had gone sans a major trophy for close to two years. The success should rejuvenate and invigorate the outfit that seemed lost in the woods.
No doubt it is a promising start to the new season. And if they manage to put and hold things together and play consistently this might be their year.
National League champions Nepal Police had a disappointing outing, losing to MMC in the second round. Former international Hari Khadka in the role of interim coach is yet to taste success.
Budha Subba Gold Cup has been chugging along steadily for the last fourteen years, and more importantly, it has firmly established itself as one of the top notch competitions in the country.
Dharan Football Club has been doing a commendable job of organizing the tournament, and they have in no little way contributed immensely in the promotion of football at the regional and national level.
Dharan has a strong sporting tradition and is blessed with a large and supportive population. As evidenced by the record turnout for the tourney, the locals’ love and passion for football is phenomenal.
The 14th edition of Budha Subba did attract some of the best teams in the country, but a few prominent names were missing. The choice of foreign outfits should have been better in terms of quality .
The organizer must broaden the appeal of the competition to its fan base. Otherwise, overtime its impact can diminish.
Aside from entertainment value, a tournament of Budha Subba stature can better serve its purpose with a more pragmatic and ambitious approach. I am very confident that the organizer can do it.
is a senior sports Journalist based in USA.