Coca-Cola Cup Nepal, in partnership with the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) and the Ministry of Youth Affairs, organised the eighth edition of the Coca-Cola Cup in Kathmandu from July 12 to Oct. 1. Introduced in 2006, the Cup is one of the largest grassroots-level football tournaments in the country and provides a platform for young footballers from across Nepal to showcase their football skills.

More than 1,100 schools and 20,000 students from 45 districts across the country participated in this year’s edition of the tournament. In the finals, the team from Sri Sainik Awasiya Madhyamik Vidhyalaya (SAMV), Bhaktapur district, edged past Karmeshwar Higher Secondary School, Kailali, to win the Coca-Cola Cup (boys category) for the fourth consecutive year. SAMV also took home five other awards — Best Goalkeeper, Best Midfielder, Player of the Tournament and the Coca-Cola Fair Play Award, presented to the team that displays the best conduct, both on and off the field. This award supports the larger role team sports play in building character and discipline among players.

“The boys worked very hard and practiced from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. every morning under the guidance of our coaches,” said SAMV Sports Coordinator Raju Lama, who took home a Best Coach award. “We organize a friendly match once a week to figure out our weaknesses as a team and work on them. We also keep a close watch on our players’ academic performance – grade 10 students are not allowed to participate so they have time to prepare for their examinations.”

Jana Jyoti Higher Secondary School defeated 2012 winner Deep Jyoti Vidhyashram from Rautahat district to win the Coca-Cola Cup (girls category). Watch the finals of the girls’ tournament.

Nepal footballer

“Regular practice paired with an excellent grasp of basic playing techniques are a must for any player,” said S.B Dalami Magar, coach for Jana Jyoti, who also took home a Best Coach award. “We look for versatile players with good team skills.” Jana Jyoti was also awarded the Best Defender, Best Forward and Coca-Cola Fair Play titles.

Winners received cash prizes from the sponsors to encourage participation and support football at the school level. Watch highlights from the tournament finals and interviews with the winning teams.

Nepal football teams

The winning teams at the award ceremony.

“Coca-Cola is committed to supporting healthy active living initiatives at the grassroots level across the world,” said Shadab Khan, country manager, Nepal and Bhutan. “We have had a long standing partnership with ANFA in Nepal and hope the winners benefit from the training they receive at the ANFA Academy.”