After over 31 years in the lower leagues, Machhindra FC (MFC) realized its three decade long dream to reach the top flight of Nepali club football in February of 2005. A victory in its final league game gave MFC the “B” division crown and thus the club was promoted to the Martyr’s League “A” division.
White Machhindra Nath
The beginnings of MFC date back to 1973 when after a football match a group of fans decided to start their own club. The club was initially called Machhindra Football Team. It was named after a deity of the central Kathmandu region - the White Machhindra Nath.
In its initial years MFC was extremely successful, gaining promotion from the Martyr’s League “D” and “C” divisions in its first two seasons. MFC nearly made a remarkable hat trick of promotions in its third season by finishing second in the “B” division. Unfortunately, that year ANFA decided to promote only one club to the “A” division rather than the usual two. From 1975 on MFC’s run of bad luck continued for 29 years! The club always found itself as the bridesmaid – when ANFA decided to promote one club MFC would finish second, and when ANFA decided to promote two teams MFC finished third.
Outside of football Machhindra FC has actively been involved in community work. It has provided crowd control and security during large festivals such as Indrajatra. The club, among many other endeavors, has also hosted numerous blood drives, organized “bhajans,” and helped make renovations to Machhindra Temple.
The majority of funding for Machhindra FC's activities comes from the vegetable market the club runs and generous donations of its benefactors and supporters. A large portion of that sum is used to help the youth of the surrounding areas, as the club has worked hard to try to decrease the unemployment of local youths by providing them jobs. In the last few years the club has setup a martial arts and scout programs to help guide and motivate the youth in the area.
Club celebrates "B" division crown
Back on the pitch, there was much joy and relief in the Machhindra community after it gained promotion to the “A” division. The club however was not content in simply reaching the top flight of Nepali football. A few months after promotion Machhindra FC decided to pay special attention to its football unit. A special football committee was formed which includes overseas members who have long been active in the football realm. Also the football division of the club was renamed Machhindra FC to emphasize that this was a proper football club and not just another social organization that has a football team.
The reorganization paid instant dividends as MFC in only its second season finished 6th place in the "A" division and is now widely regarded as one of the top clubs in Nepal.