Deepak & Pujan with 6 important players left out from Vincenzo Annese's new 30 member | FIFA WC Asian Qualifiers 2026

Alberto Vincenzo Annese, the head coach of the Nepali national football team, has called 30 players to the initial team for the first round of Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2026, which will be held from the second week of October. Annese has made extensive changes in the national team that has just returned home few days ago after leaving the group stage of the ongoing SAFF Championship in India.

According to the official information issued by the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) on Sunday, the Nepali team will start training from August 1st, or July 16th.

What will the players of the national team do after the SAFF? What will they play?? Amidst the question, ANFA is going to keep the players busy by training early for the World Cup selection. Which is a good thing.

Deepak & Pujan including 6 players been left out

But such players have been removed from the team lists sent by Annes, the Nepali football fans are surprised after hearing. Deepak Raj Singh Thakuri, a very talented striker, has not been included in the team. Deepak, an organic talent from West Nepal, is the same player who was also the highest Nepalese goal scorer in the Shahid Smarak A Division League held in Kathmandu last month.

Similarly, Machhindra Football Club's goalkeeper Bishal Shrestha, who has performed well in the league, has also not been selected. Midfielder Pujan Uparkoti, who is a regular in the team, has also also not been included in the team. APF's two midfield engines Nabin Lama and Mani Kumar Lama too have been left out.

The sign of player's movement to Australia

In this way as the big names not being in the team, it has sounded a crisis bell yet again in the Nepalese football. Is the another wave of player escape coming?  Not being in the initial team is a sign that these players are either injured or they are also migrating abroad. Because Coach Annese had publicly stated before, 'First, I will understand how many players will go out and I will prepare the team accordingly. "

Who are the players who are out from the National Team ?

  • Goalkeeper Bishal Shrestha
  • Defender Nishan Khadka
  • Forward Dipak Raj Singh Thakuri
  • Midfielders Pujan Uparkoti, Mani Kumar Lama and Nabin Lama
In the same way, the big names of the Nepali football , Kiran Chemjong, Bimal, Gharti Magar, Navyug Shrestha, etc., who were not able to perform well in the SAFF, are being continued. And the new team is dominated by many new and young players.

Who are the new young faces in Nepal for FIFA WC Qualifiers 2026?

  • Goalkeepers: Anis Deula of Jawalakhel and Abhishek Baral of Satdobato
  • Defenders: Ashish Gurung of Manang, Angel Maharjan of Friends, Chhiring Gurung of Machhindra and Anjan Rai of Nepal Police 
  • Midfielders: Sudip Gurung of Satdobato, Utsav Rai of Machindra, Vishal Tamang of Jawalakhel, Vivek Paudel of Church Boys, and Kritish Ratna Chhunju of NRT
  • Forwards Gillespie Jung Karki and Dinesh Heinzen of TAFC

When will the FIFA World Cup qualification 2026 starts?

The World Cup qualification to be held from next October has been decided on the basis of Asian ranking. According to which, the 18 lower ranked teams of Asia will compete in the first round. Based on recent FIFA rankings, all teams from South Asia except India have to compete from the first stage.

9 out of 18 teams from the first selection will reach the second stage. One opponent of each team will be decided by draw. The team that wins on the basis of home and away will advance to the second round. The first leg will be played on 12 October and the second leg on 17 October. Before the World Cup qualifiers, Nepal will also play two friendly matches under the September FIFA window between as a preparation.

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