A warm welcome in Nepal amidst controversies of Sepp Blatter‘s re-election and kickbacks scandal here in Europe should have made him feel a lot better. Blatter, President of FIFA – world football’s governing body, visited Nepal on Thursday to attend the opening ceremony of the AFC Challenge Cup taking place in Kathmandu.
Blatter was welcomed to Kathmandu, Nepal at TIA by Youth and Sports Minister Kamala Roka, National Sports Council Member-Secretary Yuvaraj Lama and All Nepal Football Association President Ganesh Thapa. Baltter was also greeted by other cultural groups and football fans at the airport. Excited about his visit to Nepal, Blatter met Prime Minister Baburam Bhattari and President Ram Baran Yadav before opening the AFC Challenge Cup.
The challenge Cup was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Sepp Blatter amid a special function at Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu. The function had presence of several political party figures including UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. Blatter in the inaugural speech said “It is an important day for football in Nepal, bringing together AFC Challenge Cup opening match between Nepal and Palestine.” Calling the match a historic encounter Sepp Blatter tweeted –
[quote style=”boxed”]Just opened AFC Challenge Cup match between Nepal and Palestine. Historic encounter, shows the power of football [/quote]
Here are the images of Sepp Blatter visiting Nepal and inaugurating AFC Challenge Cup.
It was a special day for Nepal as the AFC challenge cup is the biggest ever football event held in Nepal. This was made more special by the presence of FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Blatter who has been FIFA president for four consecutive terms visited Nepal for first time in decades. He is the second FIFA president to visit Nepal. Prior to him, the then FIFA president Joao Havelange had visited Nepal in 1987. Nepal’s Fifa ranking Position is at 153 as of March 2012.
The sad thing however was Nepal being defeated 2-0 by Palestine in the opening match but that’s another story.
Update: Despite watching the sad loss of Nepal (0-2) to Palestine yesterday, Sepp Blatter still believes Nepal has a good future in football! Blatter left Nepal after finishing his two days visit in Nepal which included the opening of AFC challenge Cup yesterday and inauguration of the Project Goal Nepal at ANFA complex at Satdobato today. Blatter has left for India today where he will meet India Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh.
Thank you President Sepp Blatter for making the event special for Nepal!
Images via MyRepublica