POKHARA, Dec 1: The eighth edition of the Aaha Gold Cup will be held at the Pokhara Stadium from January 26 to February 6. Sahara Club Pokhara organizes the most popular football competition played outside the valley every year.
Twelve teams including clubs from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, A division clubs of Nepal, and teams from Eastern and Western Regions as well as the hosts will participate in the event, according to Sahara Club´s General Secretary Keshab Bahadur Thapa.
The winners of the title will bag Rs 150,000 cash and the runners-up Rs 75,000. The hosts have decided to provide Rs 5,000 from this edition to the winners of pre-quarterfinals and quarterfinals to boost the morale of the players. The best team, coach, striker, midfielder, defender and goalkeeper will also receive cash prizes.
Sahara UK, the team from the UK, and the hosts Sahara Club have decided to merge and form a united team comprising the best players of the two clubs after both the teams were unable to win the title despite participation in the event since the beginning.
“We have agreed in principle to form a united team but the deal is yet to be inked. The official decision will be taken soon,” said Sahara Club´s Chairman Bikram Thakali.
Thakali said that Sahara Club had made an agreement with Sahara UK´s officials including Chairman Navin Gurung when they were in Nepal a few weeks ago.
Sahara UK have decided to send only the best players this time as they have been bearing the brunt of failure toi win the title despite sending 18 to 20 players every year. The Club have to spend Rs 100,000 for the tickets in addition to the cost of food and lodge. The Club believes that sending their best players after forming an alliance will not only reduce the financial burden but also help them perform better in the match.