Football analyst Sanjiv Mishra shares his views and predictions with us.
Sanjiv Mishra may not have participated in many football games, but he has top-notched his analytical skills. He led Kathmandu Club, which played A Division league for 15 years. Later, the club was relegated because of financial difficulties, and he continued his journey with All Nepal Football Association as a development director, competition director, and spokesperson. Thus, as a player, a manager, and an office bearer, Sanjiv has been involved in football for almost 30 years now.
Under his management, he has led Nepal's football team to international games, and from World Cup 2010, he has been presenting his analysis on broadcast and digital media. Call it sixth sense or very sharp analytical skill, his analysis has never gone wrong, so he's got believers, too. According to him, frequently winning countries are taking the trophy home in the World Cup mostly, but in 2010, he saw Spain at their best. Analyzing their performance, he was confident of Spain's victory, and that year they won the World Cup. Sanjiv calls it his biggest achievement as an analyst. He proudly expressed that he is well recognized and respected for his in-depth knowledge and correct predictions.
Talking about the current situation, just a month ago, new leaders have entered the football community to take Nepal football forward. Sanjiv believes that if their plans and ideas are implementing consistently, Nepal's football will definitely have a bright future. Well, if the football community will even fulfill half of their expectations, Nepal football will achieve big success!
Although just the leaders of football alone cannot help in development, the sports sector needs leaders of our country to prioritize this field, as well. Our teams are still moving with around 40- to 50-year-old infrastructures. Additionally, due to the devastating earthquake of 2015, our only stadium, Dasarath Rangashala, was destroyed, and we have become an ‘international stadium-less country’. If Nepal will have an international rangashala and organize international tournaments, Nepal can gain positive changes in sports economy. The football craze among Nepalis is so high compared to other countries that around 10,000 fans can flow towards the stadium even for age-group tournaments.
To give an example of this craze, Sanjiv says, "I went to Alain city as a manager of Nepal's team for a U-23 match between Nepal and Nepal. Even though that match was held in the U.A.E., the home ground gave me a feeling of being in Nepal's home ground, as 10,000 Nepalis were present to watch the game, whereas only 200 Arabians were there. It was very interesting to see Nepali people's love towards football. So, if our infrastructures are uplifted and we succeed in hosting international games in Nepal, the tourism sector will also develop through sports."
Even though Nepal has not participated in a World Cup yet, it is still taking an ownership globally. Out of 211 countries, only 32 countries are selected after a tough competition. In the context of Nepal, the development rate is slow compared to other countries, so it is pretty hard for Nepal to reach the World Cup finals, but from 2026, FIFA is organizing World Cup among 48 countries. Between these countries, 10 Asian countries will be selected, which gives Nepal a high possibility to qualify in FIFA World Cup 2026. However, Nepal might not have to wait till 2026. As per the agenda of FIFA Congress 2013, 48 countries will be qualifying for World Cup 2022 that is to be held in Qatar, and if this agenda will pass, Nepal has huge chances to get qualified for World Cup 2022.
Well, talent does not lack in our teams, they just need more support and motivation. Not just from fans and associations, but from country's leaders, too.