FOOTBALL IN NEPAL | Football Leagues

The love and enthusiasm of Nepalese towards sports is unparallel and talking about the most popular sports in the country, the passion that drives them is just crazy. The sports I am talking about are non-other than Football. The Nepali football scene is just growing from its root level and the level of respect and knowledge about Nepali football in people is immense. Football in Nepal is most loved sports game.

History of Football in Nepal:

The entry of football dates back to 1921 during the Rana regime. There were very few places where this game was being played in Nepal at that time. There used to be games with the bet of goats. The first teams to be established in Nepal were Mahabir-11, Jawalakhel-11, Public Institute-11, NRT-11, etc. This establishment occurred in 1934. The first football tournament was conducted institutionally in 1934 and this tournament, a total of 12 teams participated. The Jawalakhel club team led by Nar Shumsher secured 1st position.

Even though this tournament marked the beginning of football in the country, soon after the event, the government decided to ban this sport in the country. Then after multiple complaints, Shri 3 Padma Shumsher agreed and a committee was formed under the presidency of Lt.- Gen. Madan Shumsher JBR. In 1947. After this, another historical change occurred in 1953 when the construction of Dasrath Rangasala had just started. Till then, all the games were played in Singh Durbar itself. On the occasion of the coronation of King Mahendra, the first football game was played in Dasrath Rangasala even though construction had just started. In the year 1959, the historic game between Kings-11 and Prime minister-11 was played in which Late King Mahendra and the then prime minister B.P. Koirala also played.

To conduct national and international friendly matches in regular intervals, the National Games association in 1973 re-established the football association and it was called the Federation of Nepal Football Association. The importance of inviting other countries to play in Nepal was only realized in 1979 and from that date, ANFA has been successful in hosting multiple matches. In the year 1982, the 23rd Asian Youth football tournament (Group 1) was held in Nepal and India, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Yemen A. R., Pakistan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Yemen P. D. R., and Syria participated.

This is a very brief history about Nepali Football and to date, the craze and love people have shown in this sport have just been amazing. Football is more loved in Nepal than cricket or IPL.

 FOOTBALL IN NEPAL  Football Leagues Nepali football team

Leagues in Nepal

First Division League

The first division league of Football in Nepal is known as Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League. The Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League (formerly known as the Kathmandu League Championship) is Nepal’s top football division. It is contested by 12 to 16 clubs and operates on a promotion and relegation system within the Martyr’s Memorial B-Division League. The season typically lasts from November to March, with each team playing each other once. The top six teams advance to the Super Six round, where they play each other once more. The Qatar Airways Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League is its official name.

In 2011, a new Nepal National League was formed to provide clubs outside of Kathmandu with the opportunity to compete in A-level tournaments. The National League featured nine clubs, five of which were Martyr’s A Division League teams.

Second Division League

The first division league in Nepal is known as Martyr’s Memorial B-Division League. The Martyr’s Memorial ‘B’ Division League is the second tier of ANFA’s football league system, following the Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League. The All Nepal Football Association is in charge of it. It is currently taking place at the ANFA Complex.

The league is set up as a single round-robin tournament, with the top two teams advancing to the Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League and the bottom two teams relegated to the Martyr’s Memorial C-Division League. The All Nepal Football Association changes the league structure every year, so this structure has not remained constant though.

Third Division League

The Martyr’s Memorial C-Division League is the third tier of Nepal’s football league system, following the Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League and the Martyr’s Memorial B-Division League. The All Nepal Football Association is in charge of it.

The league is Nepal’s third highest and lowest centrally organized league. The winners of qualification tournaments among smaller clubs across the country will be eligible to play in the league, while relegation results in the teams being relegated to non-league status.

Stadiums in Nepal

  1. Dasarath Stadium

It is located in Tripureshwor of Kathmandu district and has an overall capacity of 18000.

  • ANFA Complex

It is located in the Lalitpur district and has an overall capacity of 5000.

  • Halchowk Stadium

It is located in the Kathmandu district and has an overall capacity of 1200.

  • Army Ground

It is located in Lagankhel of Kathmandu district and has an overall capacity of 5000.

  • Chyasal Football Stadium

It is located in the Kathmandu district and has an overall capacity of 10000.

  • Pokhara Rangasala (under construction)

It is located in Pokhara of Kaski district and has an overall capacity of 20000.

  • ANFA Technical Centre

It is located in Butwal of Rupandehi district and has an overall capacity of 5000.

  • Beljhundi Stadium

It is located in Beljhundi of Dang district and has an overall capacity of 3500.

  • Mahendra Rangasala

It is located in Nepalgunj of Banke district and has an overall capacity of 7500.

  1. Dhangadhi Stadium (under construction)

It is located in Dhangadhi of Kailai district and has an overall capacity of 10000.

  1. Narayani Stadium

It is located in Birgunj of Parsa district and has an overall capacity of 15000.

  1. Raj Stadium

It is located in Rajbiraj of Saptari district and has an overall capacity of 2000.

  1. Simara Stadium

It is located in Jitpur of Bara district.

  1. Tharuhat Stadium

It is located in Gaighat of Udaypur district and has an overall capacity of 5000.

  1. Dharan Stadium

It is located in Dharan of Sunsari district and has an overall capacity of 4000.

  1. Sahid Rangasala

It is located in Biratnagar of Morang district and has an overall capacity of 10000.

  1. Itahari Regional Stadium (under construction)

It is located in Itahari of Sunsari district and has an overall capacity of 10000.

The craze of Football in Nepal is so high that football is not just a sports its an emotion for Nepali.

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