Nepali Chelis. You can be winners too!

The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) was founded in 1951 and became affiliated with FIFA in 1970. In its entire playing history, Nepal has only won 2 regional competitions in the men's competition. In 1984, Nepal won the Gold Medal in the First South Asian Games (SAG) by defeating Bangladesh, and followed this with another Gold Medal win at the 1993 SAG by beating India in the final. Since then, it has not won any regional tournament - the record speaks for itself. 

In the women's regional competition, Nepal has lost twice to India in the finals. This year, Nepal has again reached the finals of the SAFF women's championship and will be facing nemesis India for the third consecutive time. The Nepali chelis are clearly the underdogs. Nepal is ranked 109 in the world while India is ranked 53. According to the FIFA website, Nepal has not beaten India in the last five years. To the best of my knowledge, Nepali chelis have never beaten India in their entire playing history. However, there is always a first time and our Nepali chelis should not be disheartened by previous losses. They should instead draw motivation from the recently concluded AFC Champions League and the ongoing FFA Cup in Australia.

Western Sydney Wanderers is the newly crowned AFC Champions League champion. It is an Australian A-League team that was formed in April 2012 and is worth 6.65 Million in the world transfer market (according to TransferMarkt). In the 2014 AFC championship final, it took on Al Hilal, a highly rated team which has won 40 domestic titles, 6 Asian Championships and 7 Arab Championships and is worth 17.03 Million Euro. On paper, Al Hilal was the overwhelming favourite to win the 2014 AFC Champions League. But the Western Sydney Wanderers beat all odds and created history by becoming the first Australian team to win the 2014 Asian Champions League after holding out for a 0-0 draw in an away game in front of 65 thousand Al Hilal supporters.

In the recently concluded FFA cup in Australia, the four semi-finalists included 3 A-League teams and one state-league team. The first semi-final was between Bentleigh Greens and Perth Glory. Perth Glory is an A-League team which was founded in 1995 and is worth 8.43 Million Euro in the Transfer Market. It has won 3 titles in the now defunct National Soccer League and finished runners up once in the A-League in 2012. On the other hand, Bentleigh Greens is a semi-professional soccer club based in the state of Victoria and worth 225 Thousand Euros in the transfer market. While Perth Glory did manage to beat Bentleigh Greens in the semi-final, the fact that the Bentleigh Greens reached the semi-final is an amazing story in itself. It is interesting to note that the Western Sydney Wanderers were eliminated in the first round of the FFA cup by Adelaide City, a club from South Australia which is worth 200 Thousand Euro in the transfer market. 

What more proof do the Nepali chelis need to convince them that small teams can beat big ones? Come on Nepal, bring home some long-deserved silverware