Nepal team retuned home after SAFF's Group stage exit : What next then?? Nepal's Upcoming match schedules explained

While the 14th edition of SAFF Championship is going on in Bengaluru, India, the Nepali national football team has returned to Nepal before the competition was over. The Nepalese team landed at Tribhuvan International Airport at 8:35 pm from Bengaluru via Air India flight on Wednesday evening.

Nepal's performance in SAFF Championship 2023

Nepal, the runner-up of last season, could not even pass the group stage after losing 2 of the three matches they played. Nepal lost 3-1 to Kuwait in the first match of the group stage and lost 2-0 to India in the second match. However, in their final and formal match on Tuesday, Nepal returned home on Wednesday after beating out of form Pakistan 1-0 with a consolation win. From Group A, which includes Nepal, Kuwait, the strong invited country, and India, the 8-time champion, have entered the semi-finals.

The worst performance from Nepal in SAFF in last 8 years

Nepal conceded 5 goals and managed to return 2 goals in the tournament. Anjan Bista scored a goal for Nepal against Kuwait and Ashish Chaudhary scored the second goal in the ongoing series against Pakistan which was also his goal for the national team. This is Nepal's worst performance in 8 years after the 2015 SAFF, returning home from the group stage. The Nepali youth team, which competed in a relatively superior group despite the short preparation time and lack of experienced players, performed satisfactorily in the competition.

What next for the Nepal National football team now?

What will the Nepalese team do now after returning to Nepal after completing such a large regional and level tournament like SAFF?? This is the question raised in the minds of the general Nepali football fans. Here we will try to answer all these questions.

No FIFA international friendly matches till September

As per FIFA's window, July and August are break months. This year, there will be no international friendly matches in these two months. This means that the players of the Nepali national football team will be unemployed for the next two months as the All Nepal Football Association ANFA has no plan to keep the players busy for this period. Also, the players who were tired of the A Division League were shocked when they had to take the field to play SAFF soon after. In this sense, these players will rest for these two months.

No earning for the national team players: local games or Australia?

But while resting like this, these players have to earn for themselves including their family who rely on them. Then what's that for?? The answer is MofAsal and local football competitions. Don't be surprised if you see those players in the national team jersey for the next two months in your village. If this kind of helplessness continues on the part of the regulatory body of Nepali football and the government of Nepal itself, half of the current players will move to Australia.

Machhindra FC's player to get busy for AFC Cup

As the preliminary selection of the AFC Cup will be starting form the August the next month, the previous two times league winner Machhindra Football Club's players including Bimal Gharti Magar, DeVendra Tamang, Bishal Shrestha and Pujan Uparkoti will be busy preparing for the match against the Bhutanese club Paro FC on 8th August at Dashrath Stadium, Kathmandu.

Nepal to play 2 friendlies on September ahead of 2026 WC Qualifiers 

After almost 2.5 months from June, Nepal will play two FIFA international friendly matches as the preparation between 4-12 September ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup first round qualifiers to start from October.

Plenty of time for  World Cup Qualifiers: ANFA must cater the new team

As the Nepali team is playing the 2026 FIFA World Cup selection from October, Nepal has 4 months time for that. If ANFA keeps training the entire playing set regularly, we could have won well in the selection.

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