Nepali fbl team’s trip to UK affected by document issues

Kathmandu,May.1: The 28-member squad led by coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese was preparing to leave for the United Kingdom on Tuesday to participate in a friendly with England’s C team on May 6. However, the players and officials did not fly as scheduled due to document-related issues.

While a rumour regarding the lack of visas for the squad spread after the cancellation of the trip, the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) clarified that the rumour was baseless.

“The squad was bidden farewell by the ANFA officials alongside the British Ambassador to Nepal Rob Fenn on Monday for their trip to England. Why would the Ambassador come to a programme where the squad has had visa issues?” stressed Suresh Shah, spokesperson for the ANFA.

Moreover, the friendly match between Nepal and England ‘C’ is a part of the UK’s Asian Inclusion Strategy, ‘Bringing Opportunities to Communities (Phase 2)’ to help raise the profile of football to the Nepalis community in England and increase participation from the wider South Asian communities.

According to Shah, a 35-member team, including 28 players and seven officials (coaches, managers, physios and managers), was the official team heading to the UK. “There are also 15 other officials heading to the UK, but they are not being sponsored by the ANFA,” said Shah. Meanwhile, Shah claimed that the 35-member squad’s trip was not cancelled due to the issues of the other officials. 

“The visa process was conducted from India as it was not available in Nepal. The trip was cancelled due to ticket variabilities and shortage of some documents that did not arrive from India on time,” said Shah.

Clarifying the problems, Shah added, “As per the tickets, the squad was heading to England on three different flights with different transits. As it would be for the best for all the squad members to be on the same flight, we were trying to manage the tickets. At the same time, some travel-related documents did not arrive as scheduled. All these troubles led to the cancellation.”

Shah also informed that the documents had not arrived by Tuesday afternoon, adding, “It was planned that the squad would reach the UK by April 30. We are in talks with the hosts and plan to procure the earliest tickets to the UK as soon as the documents arrive. The team will certainly reach the UK soon and be available for the tournament.”

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