Aaha Gold Cup is ready and the stage is all set for the 11th edition of Aha Gold Cup.
Aha Gold Cup 2013 is starting from January 22 (Tuesday) and will end on February 2.
This time 12 teams are on the match with two teams from abroad.
Three-time winners and defending champions LH Manang Marsyangdi, Samsung Jawalakhel Youth Club, Three Star, NMB Machhindra, Nepal Police Club, McDowells’ RCT, Army Club, NIBL Friends’ Club, Dharan Football Club, Gorkha Brigade Football Team of India, Kolkata Southern Committee Football Club and hosts Sahara Club will vie for a cash prize of Rs 351,000.
Gorkha Brigade Club are the debutant team. The runners-up will receive Rs 201,000 while the best coach, keeper, mid-fielder, defender and striker will be awarded Rs 10,000 each.
Aaha! Gold Cup is an annual international football tournament held in Pokhara, Nepal, and organized by the Sahara Club. It was formerly known as the Caravan Gold Cup, however due to sponsorship reasons it is currently known as the Aaha! Rara Gold Cup. It is considered a major football tournament in Nepal, and is therefore endorsed by ANFA Kaski, a district FA of the All Nepal Football Association.
Sahara Club have been running a football-based academy for under-privileged children from the profit of the tournament and donations from various individuals and organisations. At present, there are 17 children at the academy and the club have planned to add 13 more in near future, according to Sahara Club’s General Secretary Keshav Bahadur Thapa.
The major attraction of the cup is the involvement of major clubs of Nepal and some international clubs. The cup is recognized by ANFA and is included in its annual calendar. The tournament is conducted in knockout format and 12 teams compete for the title. The tournament is the main event keeping the spirit of football alive in Nepal and handsomely rewards the clubs and players. It is also the longest sporting event to be held regularly.
On the 13th edition of the tournament, English non-league side Aldershot Town FC entered in the tournament, and thus became the first European club to compete in the tournament’s history.