News Opponent Watch: Mauritius!

Mauritius, which has a population of 1.2 million people and occupies an area of 2040 square kilometers, is ranked 172nd in the world, lower than Nepal in the FIFA rankings.

The team's most notable accomplishments to date include being selected for the 1974 African Cup of Nations and winning the Indian Ocean Island Games football competition in 1985 and 2003. This period can be regarded as the Mauritian football team's golden age.

In the 30 years after their first international encounter against Reunion in 1947, the Mauritian squad has achieved significant progress. However, an occurrence had turned into a stumbling block on the way up.

Spectators were involved in an incident during a local league match when a penalty was not awarded, and some deaths were recorded in the stadium. As a result, there were no league games for 18 months, effectively bringing the Mauritian team to a halt.

The Mauritian national team, which had been ranked 116th in the FIFA rankings in 2000, slipped to 195th in 2011, its lowest ranking ever. 

Since then, the squad, which had the lowest ranking in history in 2011, has shown some improvement. The bulk of Mauritian clubs now have veteran players. Player's average age is 28. Mauritian players who are physically powerful will have plenty of experience. As a result, Nepal should not dismiss the Mauritian team as weak.

Mauritius has only won one of their past five games, drawing the other four. Based on these figures, even if Mauritius appears to be a poor team, their last international outing was in 2019. So, those games will not matter now. No game will be simple in itself. As a result, Nepal will have to show that it is capable of defeating the Mauritian team.

The encounter against Mauritius, which will be unlike any other for Nepal, will propel the Nepali team outside the limits of South Asia and provide them with valuable exposure. There is no question that when playing with different national teams, Nepal would be able to learn and explore.

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