Nepal opening its WAFF Women’s Championship campaign today

Himal Press 20 Feb 2024
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Nepal opening its WAFF Women’s Championship campaign today Nepali National Team. (File Photo)

KATHMANDU: Nepal is competing against Syria in the 2024 West Asia Football Federation (WAFF) Women’s Championship at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on Tuesday.

Since the women’s teams of the West Asian nations are comparatively weaker, the Nepali team will be looking to end its title drought by lifting the 2024 WAFF Women’s Championship trophy.

Although Nepal played its first international match in the 1980s, it has not been able to lift any title yet. Despite reaching the finals ten times, victory has eluded them on each occasion. Nepal has made it to the final of the SAFF Championship five times and the South Asian Games (SAG) three times. Additionally, it has also played in the finals of the Nadezhda Cup and Hero Gold Cup. But it failed on both occasions.

WAFF has invited Nepal and Guam to participate in the 2024 WAFF Women’s Championship.¬†This is Nepal’s first participation in the regional football event of West Asia. Nepal, which is ranked 105th in the latest FIFA rankings, is placed in Group B alongside Palestine, Syria, and Iraq. While Palestine and Syria are ranked 136th and 160th respectively, Iraq is unranked. Likewise, the Group A consists of Jordan, Lebanon, hosts Saudi Arabia, and Guam. Jordan, ranked 74th, is the highest ranked team participating in the 2024 WAFF Women’s Championship. Lebanon holds the 134th position, Saudi Arabia is placed 175th, and Guam is ranked 93rd.

The top two teams from each group will progress to the semifinals.

Anjila Tumbahamphe, captain of the Nepali team, has expressed determination to lift the trophy. “Despite being ranked lower than some of our opponents, we are determined to compete for the title,” she stated.

Star striker Sabitra Bhandari, who was recently signed by French league side En Avant Guingamp, has joined the Nepali camp in Jeddah. Additionally, the Nepali squad includes six players with experience in India’s I-League.

Jordan holds the record for the most successful performances in the WAFF Women’s Championship, having won the tournament five times and being the defending champions. The UAE, a two-time champion, is not participating in this year’s championship.

Nepal Squad:

Goalkeeper: Anjila Tumbahamphe (Captain), Usha Nath, Anjana Ranamgar
Defenders: Geeta Rana, Amrita Jaisi, Hira Kumari Bhujel, Bimala BK, Nisha Thoker, Misika Ghimire, Pooja Rana, Sabina Chaudhary
Midfielders: Anita Basnet, Amisha Karki, Anita KC, Preeti Rai, Deepa Shahi, Bimala Chaudhary, Saraswati Hamal
Strikers: Savitra Bhandari, Chandra Bhandari, Rekha Paudel, Rashmi Kumari Ghising, Savita Rana Magar

Published On: 20 Feb 2024

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