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Sunday, May 5, 2019

Rai, Lama feted with Special Contribution awards

ANFA Day awards

Winners of the ANFA Day awards pose for a group photo in Kathmandu on Sunday. Photo: THT

Kathmandu, May 5

Ju Manu Rai and Anu Lama were felicitated with Special Contribution awards at the ANFA Day programme organised for the first time by All Nepal Football Association here today.

The former Nepal Police Club striker Rai has scored 11 goals for the national team in his one-and-half decade career. Rai had scored 10 goals in 2007 — five each for national team and NPC’s silver medal winning run in the AFC President’s Cup.

Rai thanked his department, Nepal Police for providing him with the opportunity to play football and shine in national and international stages.

“It’s because of the Nepal Police I have been able to receive this award today. And I am also thankful to my better half for the unconditional support in my career and life,” added Rai.

Lama, who was removed from the final squad of the national team that finished second in the Women’s SAFF Championship earlier this year in Biratnagar, holds the record of most number of goals. Rai has netted 35 goals for the national team, seven more than Sabitra Bhandari.

The Nepal APF Club striker announced her retirement from international football after receiving the award. “I would like to thank all the individuals who supported me to reach this stage,” said Lama. “At this moment of honour, I would like to remember my coaches and Rautahat district from where I started playing football,” she added.

Both Rai and Lama were rewarded with Rs 1.5 million each. The ANFA had in previous years rewarded the best player of the year with car and apartment. Two footballers, Upendra Man Singh and Hari Khadka received cars, while Rakesh Shrestha was handed over the apartment.

However, Shrestha is yet to take possession of the apartment. ANFA then rewarded Tamang with Rs 2.5 million.

Veteran coach Bhagirath Ale was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Ale, who is popularly known as Mama in football fraternity, has produced numerous footballers, especially in Eastern part of the country. He received Rs 350,000 along with Yamaha motorcycle.

Avishek Rijal and Manjali Kumari Yonjan bagged the Emerging Player awards, established in memory of former national team skipper Mani Bikram Shah, while former FIFA Referee Laba Khatri and Asmita Manandhar were felicitated with the Best Referee awards, established in memory of former national team skipper and FIFA Referee Rupak Raj Sharma.

National team goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu and midfielder Rohit Chand were the joint winners of the Professional Nepali Player in International Arena award. Limbu and Chand, who play in Maldives and Indonesia, had won the league titles for their respective clubs and also bagged individual awards. They received Rs 100,000 and Yamaha motorcycle each.

Former national team skipper and NPC striker Hari Khadka was named the best coach of the year and he also received Rs 100,000 and Yamaha motorcycle.

Khadka had guided the women’s national team to the second round of the Olympic Qualifiers apart from finishing runners-up in the Women’s SAFF Championship and Hero Gold Cup in India.

Manang Marshyangdi Club and Morang FA were declared the best club and district respectively. MMC had won the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League, while Morang hosted the Women’s SAFF Championship.

They received Rs 100,000 each.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ishwor Pokharel, Nepal Olympic Committee President Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Vice-president of National Sports Council Pitambar Timsina, and ANFA President Karma Tsering Sherpa among others handed over the awards to the winners of the 11 categories. Various artists Mahesh Babu Kafle, Astha Raut, Badri Pangeni and Jitu Nepal entertained the spectators with their performance.

from Sports – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2DStWZF

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