Gulf between departmental and Regional teams too huge

  • Women’s football
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 11, 2018-

Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club registered a 26-0 drubbing of Mid Western Region during the league stage of the 16th National Women’s League football tournament exposing the gulf between the departmental and non-departmental (regional) teams.

The two league matches of the tournament held under the National Sports Council Championship on January 1 saw departmental teams shower 38 goals over their opponents though there is strong competition among the departmental teams. APF’s 26-0 victory over Western Region saw striker Sabitra Bhandari alone slam a dozen goals. Altogether 92 goals were struck in 12 matches in the preliminary league with a remarkable average of 7.66 goals per match.

Former national women’s football team head coach Kumar Thapa says such scorelines are not good for the development of the game. “The regional teams need to prepare themselves better before coming into the tournament. The football governing body Anfa should force the top-tier clubs to form junior and senior girls’ team in order to give a competitive edge,” said Thapa, who is currently undergoing Uefa MIP–II, Executive Master for International Players, course in Europe.

However, Thapa’s call was a big ask considering that the top-tier clubs have not been able to a form a proper junior boys’ teams, let alone the girls’ squad. Thapa urges the responsible authorities to promote the women’s football. “Unlike men, women’s footballers do not get paid except for the departmental teams,” said Thapa. “Under such circumstances, you can not expect footballers outside the departmental teams to raise their standard. Regular training and football activities are key to the development. The Regional teams are devoid of the both unlike the departmental teams, who train regularly. Moreover, the players of the departmental teams have a great incentive: they get paid and have a job.”

Mid Western Region coach Sanu Tamang said that players are handpicked by the respective FAs on a tournament basis due to the absence football activities. “We could have done better had we been able to train properly,” said Tamang. Of the eight teams participating in the current National women’s league, three are departmental and five regional teams.

Mid Western skipper Bimala Rana Magar said the team did not have any preparation at all before coming to Kathmandu. “Nor have we been training since our arrival here,” said Rana Magar. “In fact we want to make this tournament a platform to earn a place in the departmental teams by giving our best shots,” she added. 

Thapa calls for the need of a proper women’s calender so that the teams can prepare long before a tournament. Despite Thapa’s suggestion for a calendar for women’s football, there was barely a couple of national level tournament last season. The ongoing National League was even held under National Sports Council Championships. In fact, the last two years saw not a single standard national league for women. Unless the football governing body Anfa gives due priority, the gulf between the departmental and the Regional teams appears set to continue.

Published: 11-01-2018 09:21

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