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Lalitput: Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President, concluded a visit to Nepal on Wednesday, which included a meeting with the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President Narendra Shrestha and the Executive Committee at the ANFA House in Lalitpur.

During his address to the Nepal football family, Shaikh Salman said: “I am aware that football is big in Nepal and I have always wanted to visit this beautiful nation and discuss football development with football officials here.

“I am also aware that football suffered a lot due to different unwanted issues including the massive earthquake that struck the country back in April and May 2015. It is thanks to the strong ANFA leadership that the game in the country is now growing. 

“I must congratulate ANFA for ensuring integrity in the game. We need help from the Football Association and local government to fight against match-fixing and Nepal has set an example for the rest of Asia.

"The AFC is always with ANFA in providing support and assistance through our programmes and initiatives."

ANFA President Shrestha also thanked Shaikh Salman for the visit and promised that Nepal would play a more important role in Asian football development in the future.

He said: “Once the infrastructure in the country is restored, we are determined to bring more AFC matches to Nepal as football is the number one sport here and fans here will always support quality football.

“Over the years, we have overcome the unfortunate hurdles in our path and now we are determined to usher the country’s football towards a bright future. We have shown progress, especially when Nepal won the inaugural AFC Solidarity Cup 2016,” he said.

“I am very happy that the President came here and interacted with us at ANFA and this visit of our President has made us more committed to develop football here in Nepal,” he added.

In addition to the regular football development activities in Nepal, the AFC is currently involved in the rebuilding of the Sethi Devi Secondary School in the earthquake-hit region of Sindhupalchowk in Nepal.

The project is the latest example of the AFC’s determination to provide targeted humanitarian aid where it is needed most across the continent – in line with the AFC’s Mission Statement to use Football for Social Development.

Photo: All Nepal Football Federation