Koji Gyotoku?

 

The current head coach of the Nepali national football team, Gyotoku, is supporting Spain in this year’s World Cup. He sheds light on why the team who are expected to do well often fail to do so while playing to represent their nations.

Do you have a favorite team and why do you like them?

My favorite team this year is Spain. They have been doing really well in the qualifying matches and their team co-ordination is good as well.

Who is your favorite player for this year’s game and why do you idolize him?

Andres Iniesta from Spain. He is a very fine football player and more so, he has only just joined the Japanese club, Vissel Kobe.

Which do you enjoy more: World Cup or club football and why?

Both the games have interesting sides to them. When we look at the league games, the teams are stronger than the national ones. Selective good players are all brought together in a team. Watching the club games has one enjoyable side. While talking of the FIFA World Cup, it is about all nations coming together and football fans from all over the globe cheering for their country. The competing nations can also know about their place in the world and it is a way of finding out where a country stands in terms of world ranking in football.

What’s keeping South Asian nations from making it to the World Cup?

 From Football Federation to feelings towards the game, everything is different when it comes to South Asian football culture. Nations which qualify to compete in the world cup games have a definite aim and target as they stick to a system, unlike countries of South Asia. Different committees related to football in South Asian countries need to be determined to take their countries to higher levels, make policies and implement them. European federations are determined to make their players strong with regular football trainings and games. Similarly, the coaches there also do in-depth study and figure out the weakness of their teams and work to improve it.

What’s the status of Nepali football today?

It has been two years that I am coaching the Nepali national team. I feel like we are improving, but I won’t say that we have been able to improve drastically. Football is a game where 11 players come together and play as a team. It is important that the players first improvise their ability from personal level to do well as a team. And our effort has been to achieve the same.

Where will you be watching the games and why?

My wish is to go and watch the game in Russia, of course. But, since we are soon starting trainings for the national team this month, I will be in Nepal. I will watch the game with friends and colleagues in Nepal.

Who do you think will win and what’s their strength/advantage?

It is rather a difficult question for me to answer. I would again want to add that the football players play their club leagues all the year around, and it is only a matter of how well they can gather their stamina and co-ordinate with their national team members. Obviously the nation with strong team members is bound to win, but I can’t really guess who is going to win this year.

In how many years do you think Nepal will be playing in the FIFA World Cup?

European nations, as we all can see, have a controlled system and strict training regime for players. They have been doing this since 100 years. If we can follow their footsteps, by which I mean, if we, the players, federation, media and fans show the same love and discipline in supporting football, Nepal will get there slowly, maybe say, in the next 100 years.


Indra Man Tuladhar

Supporting the Brazilian team this year, the General Secretary of All Nepal Football Association (ANFA), Indra Man Tuladhar talks about his favorite players and the current status of Nepali football.

Do you have a favorite team and why do you like them?

I will be supporting Brazil, like I always do. I think they have a very good football culture. I had a privilege to watch the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, and I got to see their dedication towards the game up-close while I was there.

Who do you idolize and what’s special about him?

Even if I am a hard core Brazil fan in the World Cup, my favorite player, I will have to say, is Lionel Messi. I saw him play live while in Brazil, and I believe he has magic in his legs. I don’t think I have seen any player like him till date. Let me add here that, in context of Nepali football, players like Umesh Pradhan and Mani Shah had a god-given gift, however, in international level I believe there isn’t any comparison to what Messi has to offer.

Who do you think will be the new star to shine this year?

I think Belgium is going to do good this year. Looking at the achievements of the Belgian football squad in all the qualifying matches, it seems like Belgium will bring out the best in them and compete for the title.

Which do you enjoy more: World Cup or club football and why?

I enjoy World Cup more because FIFA World Cup is all about the glory of competing nations. The World Cup is linked with love towards one’s nation and the interesting thing is that the international team we support seemingly becomes our own country. Everyone understands the language of football while watching these games and it becomes the talk of every town, every nook and cranny.

What’s keeping South Asian nations from making it to the World Cup?

The football culture in South Asia isn’t as good and as developed as in the South American and European nations. Even though the representative nations from Asia this year like Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, etc. have developed infrastructures, they have not cultivated good football culture. This is the reason why South Asian countries are lagging behind when it comes to international football leagues and matches.

What’s the status of Nepali football today?

Since the early days, Nepali people have shown immense support and love towards football. Nepal has also been performing well in South Asian championships. We have good and determined players in our hands, too. But, the thing we lack here is infrastructure and sound condition for football to reach new heights. If we are able to create the enthusiasm and support for the players, a time will come when football can be established as one of the best career options for the players.

Where will you be watching the games and why?

I will be going to Russia to watch the opening game. The rest of the matches, I will be watching at Sankata Club with friends and family, and my colleagues from ANFA.

Who do you think will win and what’s their strength/advantage?

It’s Brazil for me because they have very strong team members and co-ordination.

In how many years do you think Nepal will be playing in the FIFA world cup?

Nepal being able to qualify in the world cup is beyond imagination given the present status of football in the country. We are talking of the nation with not a single international football stadium. It is not that we aren’t working enough to improvise, but just one football committee cannot do it on their own without the support of the nation. For us to get there, we need to be working extremely hard and I think, if all things go as planned, Nepal will be playing in the FIFA World Cup after 20 years from today.


Karma Tsering Sherpa

Hopeful that there will come a day when the Nepali national team will be competing in the FIFA World Cup, Karma Tsering Sherpa, President of ANFA,  is excited about World Cup 2018 as much as everybody else.

Do you have a favorite team and why?

My favorite teams for this year are Brazil and Germany, clearly, because of the consistency in their games in every World Cup. To win the title or not is one thing, but how they are always persistent in what they do is what I admire the most about them. And my love for Brazilian football also comes from my admiration of Pele.

Who do you idolize and what’s special about him?

Neymar and Lionel Messi; because they stand out from other players in terms of their football skills.

Who do you think will be the new star to shine this year?

I think this year, South Korea will leave its mark in the competition looking at how they have been performing in the qualifying matches.

Which do you enjoy more: World Cup or club football and why?

Both have their own charms and importance. Football leagues are the backbone of football as a sport, so, obviously club football matches are delightful to watch. And when we talk of the World Cup, it’s a football festival which we celebrate every four years, all over the world. It is one of the most anticipated and amusing international matches in the world.

What’s keeping South Asian nations from making it to the World Cup?

One of the reasons why South Asian nations are not making it to the World Cup is because football activities in South Asian countries are relatively very low compared to European and South American countries. South Asia lags behind in terms of grass-root programs, technical centers, marketing and so and so.

What’s the status of Nepali football today?

The status of Nepali football isn’t as bad as we think it is. We are one of the strongest teams in South Asia and are often appreciated by other nations for how we play. With the support and love from Nepali people, we still have a long way to go.

Where will you be watching the games and why?

We have been invited to watch the opening match in Russia and we will be watching it with FIFA Congress and AFC congress. I will be watching other matches with friends and family in Nepal.

Who do you think will win and what’s their strength/advantage?

I feel that the strong contenders for this year are Germany, Brazil, Spain and Portugal. My bet is on Germany because of their strong team formation.

In how many years do you think Nepal will be playing in the FIFA World Cup?

It is not impossible for Nepal to play in the World Cup even if it will take a long time for us to reach there. But we are in dire need to strengthen our infrastructures along with conducting grass-root programs and training centers on a regular basis. We will also need to conduct football competitions for players of different age groups consistently.  The next thing we can do is commercialize the football leagues so as to improve the quality of our games and provide opportunity to our local players.