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Monday, March 12, 2012

Football adds to prevalent sense of dysphoria in Nepal

Jiwan Kshetry

It is called 'applying salt to wound' in Nepali. That is what happened over past few days as many frustrated Nepalis looked forward with hope the games of AFC Challenge Cup being held in Kathmandu. 

Crippling scarcity of items of daily use like fuels, soaring inflation, increasing unemployment; and above all, the increasing impotency of the politicians to sort out the contentious matters of the to-be-born constitution as the deadline approaches. All these factors have collectively contributed to a palpable sense of gloom and frustration throughout Nepal.

And it is not unusual for the citizens to seek solace in something else when the stage in the front is occupied by terribly boring and obviously non-performing artists. This has been the condition in Nepal as most of the young people are glued to the TV sets (if not gone to stadium) whenever there is a match of Nepal; be it cricket or football.

The enthusiasm this time was quite high because of widely held perception that the Nepali team was improving constantly under the new coach Graham Roberts.

But with Nepal now out of the tournament from the first round, same pervasive frustration has gripped the young people and they are venting their ire at whomsoever they feel like in social sites.

One writes: Even the Turks raped! (in Nepali, of course). Another writes: Nepalis as usual, left the 'ball' and played only 'foot', that means in Nepali to get divided or to disintegrate.

And many have suggested Nepal altogether leave football and engage in the supposed national game of Nepal: Dandibiyo, a game mostly played by kids by using one longer stick to raise and hit shorter stick.

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