Gurung, Lama feted with Rupak Memorial Award

- Post Report, Lalitpur

May 7, 2016-

Former captain of national football team Anil Gurung and current women’s team skipper Anu Lama were among five individuals honoured with the Rupak Memorial Award 2072 here on Friday. 

Amidst a ceremony at the All Nepal Football Association (Anfa) Complex, Fifa assistant referee Bina Shrestha, former Fifa assistant referee Shailesh Joshi and coach Birat Krishna Shrestha were also felicitated with the prestigious award. 

The football governing body has been honouring football personalities in memory of late Rupak Raj Sharma, the former national team skipper and Fifa referee who died on a plane crash in 1992 in Lalitpur while he was returning from Pakistan.

The award carried a cash purse of Rs 100,000 and a motorbike for each winner. Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi handed over the awards to the winners. 

Sharma, who made his domestic football debut with Boys Union Club, captained Nepali team for 11 years from 1974 to 1985. He had joined Nepal Police from 1975 and was holding the post of Superintendant of Police the time when he passed away.

Thanking Anfa for giving continuity to the award for two decades and running, Sharma’s widow Nita paid tribute to her husband. “He was a true patriot. He did his duties as a player and then as a police officer with dedication and sincerity. He used to give more time to his duties than his family,” said Nita.

Gurung, who led Nepal in the Saff Championship football held in India late 

last year, has scored nine international goals, donning the national team jersey. Lama, the leading international scorer of Nepal’s women’s football with 35 goals, also has 120 domestic goals to her name.

Fifa assistant referee Shrestha, who won two bronze medals for Nepal in the 1999 eighth South Asian Games as a sprinter in Kathmandu, has officiated in national and international tournaments for quite a long time. She officiated in the 2013 second Saff Women’s Championship and 12th SA Games this year. 

Joshi had also officiated in numerous international matches including the 2001 World Cup Qualifier match between China and Cambodia. Coach Shrestha has been one of the most successful coaches in domestic football having guided Nepal Police Club (NPC) to three consecutive ‘A’ Division League titles. 

Under Shrestha, NPC qualified for 2008 AFC Presidents Cup Finals which marks the biggest achievement for Nepal in international club football. He also had brief stints with senior national team.

Published: 07-05-2016 08:48

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