As long as football concerns, the world is unipolar. Although there is no hope that Nepal will advance further or give some magical results on the field in this tournament, we have successfully organized a stunning tournament of football here in our land of Himalayas, a true pleasure to feel. Adding cherry on the cake, FIFA president Sepp Blatter was here with high ranking official delegation of FIFA and AFC that made the tournament much more memorable in real sense.
I was there at Dasharath stadium for the first game (Thank you Binod Pandey and Somesh Verma for managing the rare tickets), I can feel the whim that football has brought to this small city. I, myself stayed in the queue from Thapathali chowk to the stadium gate at tripureshwor, for almost 2 hours, to watch our boys play at our own yard. I ran to the stadium, tolerated misbehaves from the cops, hunger and thirst just for the sake of football, and i did enjoy the game (the only bitterness is that we lost). I thoroughly enjoyed the event, cheered at the top of my voice for my nation my national flag. I made some cool frenz, jumped and sat on the seat, became emotional and turned practical after sometime, but gave a silent "hats off" to ANFA, organizing committee and all those who have worked for this great game to be played in well manners. Stadium was looking great with a sound lighting system, well updated scoreboard, well managed security system, a good place to be altogether.
As other times used to be, there were no plastic bottles and stones on the marathon track this time. People with painted face of nepali national flag, with national flags in their hand, head bande were cheering for the country in acceptable manners, crowd looked full of "CHANDRA SURYA". I have witnessed many games previously in this same ground, parapets used to look like a rioted region full of slangs, police and people running here and there after everytime Nepal loses, which didn't happen this time. People calmly accepted the result and they moved on, definitely an attractive thing to watch on the stadium.
And it was good to see people of every age were present there to cheer for the nation. Even some girls who were in sarees were singing "Ole Ole". Some old people were trying their best to make the youngs sit on so that they can watch the game undisturbed. But young people are young, jumping like a pumped bladder every time Nepal touched the ball. They were shouting "Nepal, Nepal" in a rhyme in the beginning, which was later replaced by "Nepal, Telecom" towards the end when it was almost certain that Nepal would lose (there were lots of hoarding boards of Nepal Telecom covering the ground and guys were frustrated enough to sing it). But everyone enjoyed the event with full concentration and was hopeful that we had chances to answer Palestine and win.
Three things were remarkable about the tournament: Firstly, the tournament was organized in a very very nice way. Secondly, there were no run riots after losing the game. People came, watched and cheered, accepted the result and returned calmly. The most remarkable thing was the people's hope of winning the games, scoring the goals. People had started believing that this team is good enough to score the goals and win the game for them, though it was not fulfilled. Our boys weren’t good enough. We have a good team full of young players, enough preparations, good coach and satisfying facilities for the national team boys, but they have not been able to score the goals, not even a single goal till now. We lost to those teams who are lower in FIFA ranking to us and the main thing is even they have not been playing exceptionally well either. The bitterest thing is, we attempted 20s of times but didn't score, they attempted 5-10 times during the match, scored enough to come out with a tag of 'winner'! ANFA may calculate these things in positive way on the coming future, but ANFA deserves a loud clap for the organization.
The tournament, lets be specific, a game of football, has given us an opportunity to be unified and feel like Nepali again. Social networks were filled with worries and cheers for the country, people were fighting to let themselves in the stadium, medias are giving enough spaces to the happenings, which shows enough craze for the great game along with the unified spirits for winning the game. Lets not ruin the unity, even if for the smaller causes. Craze for good things always change the things in positive ways. Lets hope, these "duffers" will start winning the game for us in the future. And along with unity and craze, we will get the winning spirit as well! :))