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Football fever grips Panchthar

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Panchthar, January 5, 2017: Sarala Regmi of Phidim-1 of Panchthar district spares three hour of her time for football from 2 to 5 in the afternoon. Her daily routine has changed since the beginning of the Falgunanda Gold Cup Football Tournament that kicked off on December 30 and she is planning to give continuity to this habit until the tournament concludes on January 8.

Not only Regmi, but also a big number of locals have been attending and enjoying the eighth edition of the Gold Cup. Locals throng to football ground after finishing their daily activities before the match kicks off.

“Football is itself an attractive game. Besides, the presence of big names of Nepali football on ground itself is thrilling. Thus, many spectators do not afford to miss the game,” said Dhan Kumar Lawati, who has been a regular viewer of football matches.  “Many people of the city have spared time despite their busy schedule and the tournament has played a role in changing daily activities.”

As the number of spectators grow every year, host Phidim Sporting Club has made a temporary parapet of bamboo which can hold as many as 4000 people at a time. Besides this, the remaining space outside the playing area is also filled by spectators. The participation of Nepali international footballers has drawn the crowd to the tournament.

Mitra Prasad Kafle, the president of Panchthar Chamber of Commerce, has experienced football fever across the district. “Football has been the talk of the town since the tournament began. The presence of strong African players has added spice to the tournament,” Kafle said.

According to Kiran Rai, the president Phidim Sporting Club, the large number of spectators shows the craze of the game in the district.

Even the spectators from remote villages are arriving in Phidim, the headquarter of Panchthar district.

By Giriraj Baskota