KATHMANDU, Oct 19: Sujal Dairy, a product of Laxmi Group, on Friday declared to provide additional Rs 400,000 for the second edition of Safal Pokhara Cup International Football Tournament to be held in Pokhara from October 30 to November 10.
Khem Gurung, the president of organizer Kaski District Football Association made such declaration during a press meet held at the ANFA headquarters, Satdobato.
With the fresh injection of fund, Sujal´s total sponsorship amount as the chief sponsor for the tournament has reached Rs 1.2 million.
Gurung, during the function attended by Executive Director of Sujal Dairy Anjan Shrestha, declared, "Pleased with the tournament, Sujal Dairy informed us that it will provide Rs 400,000 in addition to the Rs 800,000 it has pledged in sponsorship amount."
The dairy had struck a three-year deal with the Kaski District Football Association last year promising to provide Rs 800,000 as the main sponsor of the tournament.
According to Gurung, altogether 12 teams, including three teams from abroad, will compete in the event. Druk Pol FC of Bhutan has confirmed its participation, while one team each from India and Bangladesh will be finalized shortly. "I recently had a telephone conversation with Bangladesh FA president and he has promised to send one of the best top tier team of the country," Gurung said, who claimed an A division team of Kolkata league will be the other team.
Along with host Pokhara XI, premier division teams of Nepal, Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC), Yeti Airlines Himalayan Sherpa Club, NIBL Friends Club, New Road Team (NRT), McDowell´s Ranipokhari Corner Team (RCT), Armed Police Force and Machhindra Club, will vie in the event.
MMC had pulled out of the tournament last year citing unavailability of players as nearly a dozen of its players were in the closed camp training of the national team.
The tournament will carry the highest cash prize among all football tournaments to be held outside the capital. The winner will bag a purse of Rs 305,000 and the runner up will receive Rs 150,000. The cash prize for winner in the previous edition was Rs 250,000.
A 301-member main organizing committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Gurung. District Association vice president Gopi Bhattarai is the tournament coordinator of the event.
Similarly, the best player of the event and best players in four different positions, goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward, will be given attractive prizes. The expected cost of the event is Rs 5.56 million.
Meanwhile, the organizers have also declared to honor one footballer of Kaski District as the best footballer of the year. The best footballer will be given Rs 25,000 and a letter of appreciation. Similarly, a sports journalist will also be honored on the occasion with a cash prize of Rs 15,000.