12 March, 2012
There was a big hype surrounding that our national team is progressing. As per FIFA ranking Nepal is (soon to be was) the best ranked South Asian team at the start of AFC Challenge Cup 2012. It had just reached the semifinals of the SAFF Championship and were eliminated despite playing better than its opponent. Many Nepalese fans believed this team has something to offer and will give something to cheer for.
Next came AFC Challenge Cup 2012. Coach Graham Roberts showed optimism that Nepal can at least reach the semifinals of this tournament. We all believed in him and the team. We hadn't expected them to win it but at least reach the knockout phase of the tournament. But Nepal became the first team to crash out of the tournament. Thousands of Nepalese football loving supporters could not believe it. Nepal was the best ranked team in the group and they just could not justify their ranking credentials.
With just a few hours left for Nepal to play their final match and the news comes out that two members of the national team left their national camp. Bikash Malla and Raju Tamang left to take part in South Asian Army Games without the permission of head coach and ANFA. Looks like this is the end of a promising era where every fans had hoped Nepal would restore their pride and the glory days of yesterday would return.
There were some rumours surrounding the selection of players for the national team which the head coach Roberts and ANFA denied. But looks like there may be some dressing room problems regarding head coach and other staffs as heated debate regarding substitution were visible to the reporters during the AFC matches. The truth will always come out it's just a matter of time. Nobody knows what is proper solution.
One question remains unanswered. Is this the beginning of a new era after the much hyped unsuccessful current team or it's just an end to the glorious dreams and promises which will never be fulfilled?