Nepal national football team

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This article is about the men's team. For the women's team, see Nepal women's national football team.
Nepal national football team
नेपाल राष्ट्रिय फुटबल टिम
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) The Gorkhalis
Nepal Red
Association All Nepal Football Association
Sub-confederation SAFF (South Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Jack Stefanowski
Asst coach Hari Khadka
Captain Sagar Thapa
Home stadium Dasarath Rangasala Stadium
FIFA ranking 181 Steady (7 May 2015)
Highest FIFA ranking 124 (December 1993, 15 February 1994)
Lowest FIFA ranking 188 (13 February 2008)
Elo ranking 196 Decrease 1[1]
Highest Elo ranking 171 (23 November 1987)
Lowest Elo ranking 210 (1 May 1999)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 China PR 6–2 Nepal Nepal
(Beijing, China; October 13, 1972)[2]
Biggest win
   Nepal 7–0 Bhutan 
(Kathmandu, Nepal; September 26, 1999)[3]
Biggest defeat
 South Korea 16–0 Nepal Nepal
(Incheon, South Korea; September 29, 2003)[4]

The Nepal national football team is the national team of Nepal and is governed by the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA). A member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Nepalese football team play their home games at Dasarath Rangasala Stadium, Tripureswhor, Kathmandu. The ANFA governs the Nepal national football team as well as the National League and other cup competitions. The ANFA, founded in 1951, became affiliated with FIFA in 1970. The current acting president of ANFA is former vice president Lalit Krishna Shrestha (taking over from former president Ganesh Thapa).

The national coach is Jack Stefanowski who was appointed on January 7, 2013.[5]


Origins (1921-1963)[edit]

Football in Nepal had been a national sport as early as 1921 during the Rana dynasty. Several clubs were formed and several domestic tournaments such as the Ram Janaki Cup (1934), and the Tribhuvan Challenge Shield (1948) were organised. In 1951, the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) was founded, and this saw the formation of the Nepal national football team.

Emergence (1963-1970)[edit]

In 1963, Nepal appeared in their first international away game in the Aga Khan Gold Cup; the predecessor of the President's Gold Cup, Asia Champion Club Tournament, and Asian Club Championship (now rebranded as the AFC Champions League) after various associations (including ANFA) insisted on entering national teams instead of clubs.[6] After Nepal entered an 18-man squad, ANFA flew the players to Dhaka, East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) to play their first match. Nepal faced Western Railway, a Pakistani team in the Bangabandhu National Stadium. However the match was lost 0–7. 2 days later, Nepal played the Dhaka Wonders, a local West Pakistani team. Though this match was also lost 0–7. After a disastrous 2 games, Nepal was sure to be knocked out of the preliminary round. The final game was against Dhaka Police Club, though despite the previous heavy losses, Nepal managed to win the game with a single goal. The goal scorer, Prakash Bikram Shah, became the first Nepali to score on foreign soil.[7] The goal took place at the 19th minute.

Modernisation & golden generation (1970-1990)[edit]

In 1970, Nepal became a member of FIFA. Two years later, Nepal joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). With this, Nepal played their first international match on October 13, 1972, where they lost 2-6 to the People's Republic of China. The first Nepali footballer to score the first international goal for Nepal in a FIFA-recognized tournament was Y.B Ghale. Ghale scored against Kuwait in the 1982 Asian Games. Despite the popularity of the game, the lack of appropriate footballing infrastructure and the dearth of trainers, technicians and other facilities have always been obstacles in the way of the Nepalese FA's endeavours to raise the standard of football among the players of a nation that has an official per capita income of just The woes of Nepalese football, however, have been immensely relieved by FIFA's determination to promote football in Nepal through youth programmes.

In the mid-1980s, FIFA provided financial assistance and sent a number of coaches to help Nepal launch its first youth programme, which was geared towards spotting talent at the grassroots level (such as in schools, for example) and providing young players with the necessary know-how, both on and off the pitch. The initial five-year plan helped half the players groomed under the first youth programme to find a place in the national side, and the team that won the 2 gold medals in the first and sixth South Asian Federation (SAF) Games mostly consisted of the players from that youth programme. Despite Nepal being considered among the lower ranked nations, Nepal have been largely successful in the South Asian Games where they won two gold, two silver, and two bronze medals.

Nepal hosted several notable friendlies from teams outside the Asian Confederation during the mid to late 80s, against Denmark in 1986; USSR and East Germany in 1987; and West Germany in 1989.[8]

Recent years (1990-2015)[edit]

Nepal celebrated their 100th international football match in January 2003 when they played Bangladesh in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship. Sadly, Nepal failed to make any real impact at the tournament. During its 22 years of international participation, the Nepalese team has only played 26 nations outside of South Asia, but it has defeated all of the country's South Asian neighbours during various regional tournaments.

Despite many attempts to raise the standard of football, the players of the resource-strapped nation have not been able to make their mark in international football beyond South Asia. In 2003 during the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, Nepal's A national team suffered a number of heavy defeats in international matches outside of South Asia. In a match during the Asian Cup qualifying round in Korea Republic, the hosts scored 16 goals to no reply. In their six matches, Nepal conceded 45 goals and failed to hit the back of the net even once. However, the qualifying competition for the 2002 FIFA World Cup witnessed one of Nepal's best performances in international football, with the Gorkhalis securing two wins in four matches and scoring 13 goals in two matches against Macao and Iraq. But with the Nepalese national and youth teams failing to achieve any noticeable success at international level and FIFA introducing new age restriction systems in several international tournaments, Nepal recently decided to compete only in the FIFA World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers as well as the SAFF Championship.

Home stadium[edit]

The stadium at daytime

The team's home ground is the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium in Tripureswor, Kathmandu, Nepal. Holding 25,000 spectators all of which are beautifully seated. It is the biggest stadium in Nepal. It is named after Dashrath Chand, one of the martyrs of Nepal.

Most recently, the stadium was used as a primary venue for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup and the 2013 SAFF Championship, with the Halchowk Stadium hosting some of the matches as well.

Apart from sporting events, the stadium is also used as a music venue for cultural events with Bryan Adams being the most notable act that performed at the site.

Before the 2013 SAFF Championship in Nepal, the Dasarath Rangasala underwent heavy renovation that saw several improvements such as the expansion of seats from 20,000 to 25,000.


Kit evolution[edit]

The national team's kit employs a tricolour of red, blue, and white to reflect the colours of the national flag of Nepal. With red being used for home matches, and blue for away. The pattern in some kits reflect the triangular shaping of flag, namely the 2013 kit. Nepal's kits are mostly template kits, as opposed to a custom team-specific kit. This is because the Nepal national team isn't lucrative enough to afford kit partnership deals with manufacturers.

Very little is known about the history prior to 1998. However, during the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, the Nepalese national team hired Bijay Shah to provide technical assistance to the squad, while also acting as the assistant coach. At the time, the team didn't have printed sportswear for the tournament. After printing makeshift kits, Bijay was inspired to start a t-shirt printing company known as Attsh, where through the partnership with a US printing company, and colleagues in South Korea, they produced their first batch of kits for the national team prior to the 1999 South Asian Games.[9] Today, Attsh acts as the main kit distributor for the national team, with adidas being the primary manufacturer of choice.

1st Kit[edit]

(1983 PM)
(1993 SAG)
(1994 AG)
(1995 SGC)
(1995 SAG)
(1998 WCQ)
(1998 AG)
(2000 OGQ)
(1999 SGC)
(1999 SAG)
(2003 SGC)
(2004 ACQ)
(2005 SGC)
(2006 ACC)
(2010 WQA)
(2008 ACC)
(2009 SC)
(SC & ACC)
(2013 SC)

2nd Kit[edit]

(1984 SAG)
(1993 SAG)
(1998 WCQ)
(2000 OGQ)
(1999 SAG)
(2004 ACQ)
(2005 SGC)
(2006 ACC)
(2010 WCQ)
(2008 ACC)
(2009 SC)
(SC & ACC)
(2013 SC)

Recent results and fixtures[edit]

Results accurate up to 31 October 2014.[10]

Date Opponent Result Score* Venue Competition
Summer 2015 TBD TBD TBD India TBA, India 2015 SAFF Championship
Summer 2015 TBD TBD TBD India TBA, India 2015 SAFF Championship
Summer 2015 TBD TBD TBD India TBA, India 2015 SAFF Championship
17 March 2015  India D 0–0 Nepal Dasarath Rangasala, Kathmandu, Nepal 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
12 March 2015  India L 0–2 India Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, India 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)
31 October 2014  Philippines L 0–3 Qatar Grand Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar Exhibition match (International friendly)
25 June 2014  Indonesia L 0–2 Indonesia Gajayana Stadium, Malang, Indonesia Exhibition match (International friendly)
20 June 2014    Nepal (U16) W 1–0 Nepal ANFA Complex, Satdobato, Lalitpur, Nepal Exhibition match (Friendly)
11 April 2014  Philippines L 0–3 Qatar Grand Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar Exhibition match (International friendly)
25 March 2014  Yemen L 0–2 Qatar Grand Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar Exhibition match (International friendly)

* Nepal score always listed first

      Win       Draw       Loss

Current squad[edit]

The following 23-man squad was announced for the world cup qualifying matches against India 12 and 17 March 2015.[11]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
16 1GK Kiran Chemjong (1990-03-20) 20 March 1990 (age 25) 25 0 Nepal Three Star Club
20 1GK Bikesh Kuthu (1993-06-24) 24 June 1993 (age 21) 1 0 Nepal Nepal Army Club
1 1GK Ritesh Thapa (1984-10-02) October 2, 1984 (age 30) 12 0 Nepal Nepal Police Club
2 2DF Rabin Shrestha (1991-05-17) 17 May 1991 (age 24) 21 0 Nepal Nepal Police Club
3 2DF Biraj Maharjan (1990-11-15) 15 November 1990 (age 24) 40 1 Nepal Three Star Club
6 2DF Rohit Chand (1992-03-01) 1 March 1992 (age 23) 27 0 [[]]
13 2DF Sandip Rai (1989-04-14) 14 April 1989 (age 26) 38 3 Nepal Three Star Club
19 2DF Sagar Thapa (c) (1984-01-19) 19 January 1984 (age 31) 50 1 Nepal Three Star Club
5 2DF Ananta Tamang (1998-01-14) 14 January 1998 (age 17) 0 0 Nepal Far Western FC
18 2DF Rajin Dhimal (1991-04-14) 14 April 1991 (age 24) 0 0 Nepal Machhindra FC
4 2DF Dinesh Rajbanshi (1998-04-05) 5 April 1998 (age 17) 0 0 Nepal Far Western FC
12 3MF Bikram Lama (1989-08-29) 29 August 1989 (age 25) 2 - Nepal Three Star Club
17 3MF Bhola Silwal (1987-01-04) 4 January 1987 (age 28) 26 2 Nepal Nepal Police Club
14 3MF Heman Gurung 0 0 Nepal Nepal APF
23 3MF Jagjit Shrestha (1992-08-10) 10 August 1992 (age 22) 16 1 Nepal Three Star Club
15 3MF Shiva Shrestha (1992-03-18) 18 March 1992 (age 23) 4 0 Nepal Manang Marshyangdi Club
12 3MF Bikram Lama (1989-08-29) 29 August 1989 (age 25) 7 0 Nepal Three Star Club
21 4FW Bharat Khawas (1992-04-16) 16 April 1992 (age 23) 13 8 Nepal Nepal Army Club
10 4FW Anil Gurung (1988-09-23) 23 September 1988 (age 26) 19 9 Nepal Manang Marshyangdi Club
11 4FW Ju Manu Rai (1983-03-01) 1 March 1983 (age 32) 29 11 Nepal Nepal Police Club
7 4FW Bimal Magar (1998-01-26) 26 January 1998 (age 17) 7 1 Belgium KRC Genk
22 4FW Anjan Bista (1998-05-15) 15 May 1998 (age 17) 1 0 Nepal Nepal APF
8 4FW Bishal Rai B (1993-06-06) 6 June 1993 (age 21) 0 0 Nepal Manang Marshyangdi Club
9 4FW Santosh Sahukhala (1988-06-06) 6 June 1988 (age 26) 29 3 Nepal Three Star Club

Recent Call-ups[edit]

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Bikash Malla (1986-08-15) 15 August 1986 (age 28) 17 0 Nepal Nepal Army Club v. Indonesia Indonesia, 21 June 2014
DF Sabindra Shrestha (1992-01-05) January 5, 1992 (age 23) 2 0 Nepal Manang Marshyangdi Club v. Philippines Philippines, April 11, 2014
MF Shyam Nepali 0 0 Nepal ANFA v. Philippines Philippines, October 31, 2014
MF Prakash Budhathoki (1993-05-21) 21 May 1993 (age 22) 1 Nepal Three Star Club v. Indonesia Indonesia, 21 June 2014
FW Asim Jung Karki (1992-03-13) 13 March 1992 (age 23) Nepal Boys Union Club v. Philippines Philippines, October 31, 2014

Nepal Red & Blue[edit]

During the ANFA Cup, the All Nepal Football Association occasionally entered two teams for Nepal; Nepal Red & Nepal Blue. This is very much akin to other South Asian teams such as Pakistan (Pakistan Green & Pakistan White, 1993 SAFF Championship; Pakistan Reds, 1976 Quaid-e-Azam exhibition matches), and Bangladesh (Bangladesh Red, 1983 President's Gold Cup). Nepal Red were a selection of Nepalese players that played as the full Nepal national football team. Whereas, Nepal Blue was effectively the B-team.[12][13]

Most of the Nepali top players play in the Nepal Red team, and it is also described as "the Nepal senior team", and is captained by the regular national team captain. While Nepal Blue is described as the "second string team".


**ANFA Suspended for 2 years by FIFA[20]

All time team record[edit]

International record (ignoring friendlies) against all nations, correct as of 9 March 2011.[21]

Competition history[edit]

*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Nepal". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "FIFA Fixtures & Results". Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "8th SAF-Games 1999". Indian Football. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "FIFA Fixtures & Results". Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Jack Stefanowski appointed Nepal National Team Coach
  6. ^ "Aga Khan Gold Cup". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Late Prakash Bikram Shah - First Nepali National football player to score first ever goal in International football". Sportskeeda. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Nepal - elo ratings". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Attsh - HISTORY - How did it started?". Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Fixtures and results". Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: Nepal National Team Squad Finalized; Karna Limbu, Nawayug Shrestha, Axed!". 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "ANFA Invitational Tournament (Nepal)". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Team unveiled for Prime Minister Cup". Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Rudi Gutendorf: The colourful life of a 'footballing missionary'". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Nepal: Nepal Remembers Joe Kinnear". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "Interview Torsten Spittler". Bayerischer fußballverband (in German). Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Stephen Constantine has dealt with deadly mosquitoes in Malawi, a presidential coup in Sudan, and armed guards in Nepal... the English coach is football's No 1 globetrotter". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "New Nepal National Team Head Coach Raju Kaji Shakya: I Will Try My Best To Lead The Team Well". Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "ANFA Re-appoints Jack Stefanowski As A Coach Of Nepal". Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "INTERVIEW: Stephen Constantine – Time for a Top Job". Les Rosbifs. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Nepal". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 29 November 2013.