If you follow Nepali football, there is one name you can definitely NOT ignore i.e. GoalNepal.com. Be it local tournament, age-group, league matches, or international matches; there is this place where you can find update of every single tournament involving Nepal. They have commentary on radio, updates on website and interesting live stuff on their Facebook page followed by 675K fans. And there is one passionate Nepali football fan behind all these and he is Bikram Thapa.
Mr Thapa was so passionate about Nepali football that he used to bunk school to see domestic matches at Dashrath Rangashala, Nepal’s national stadium. In 2003 he started career as sports journalist then joined advertising agency. Since his all mind and heart was into football he quit everything to start football website which eventually became country’s number one football source.
It was really tough in initial days when Goalnepal was launched in 2009. Despite all the difficulties, he got huge support from football fraternity and Nepali football fans. Goalnepal followed Nepali football from Jhapa to Japan, Manang to Malaysia and Sindhuli to Sri Lanka. With very limited resources they managed to travel with Nepali football. The man, Bikram Thapa himself has been to more than 14 countries and different parts of Nepal just to cover Nepali football. Besides, time and energy the toughest part had always been financial, to cover all the expenses. When asked about his unforgettable travel experience he said the most embarrassing moment was when Nepal got hammered by Jordan 9-0 in World Cup qualifiers their homeland back in 2011.
Probably there are very few people who know Nepali football inside out, and certainly he is among those. He is not at all happy with Nepal’s football structure and progress. He shares we are going nowhere in last 2 decades. The only good thing that happened is wining some international trophies such as ‘AFC Solidiraty Cup’ ‘Bangabandhu Cup’ ad ‘SAG’.
Always worried about Nepali football he wants Nepali players to play abroad so that we can have more exposure; he is very proud of Rohit Chand, Kiran Chemjong and Jagjeet Shretha who are pulling their socks in foreign soil. Not to forget Bikram Thapa was the man behind Anil Gurung’s record breaking signing with Indian club Shillong Lajong FC and Rohit Chand’s involvement in other Indian club HAL Bangalore.
Today Goalnepal family has expanded to 5 full-time staff and other part timers. However, they are still struggling financially since corporate houses are very reluctant to invest in Nepalese football. The good news however is, now they can at least cover the expenses. Thapa is very proud of his very dedicated Goalnepal family. He knows there is a huge fan following for Nepalese football but he also understands the challenges in entrepreneurship especially for an ethical & unbiased Nepalese football media like theirs.
Whenever Nepal plays, hundreds and thousands of Nepali fans want to know update of every single moment from training to game plan and want to watch and follow match live. Most of the times when it is played in foreign soil no mainstream media follow them, it is such a pity that it is not in their priority. This void is completed by GoalNepal, they give update about Nepal’s women’s team travelling either to Bangladesh or Maldives, U15 or U17 teams playing in Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan. Not only that they stream live matches of local clubs at Pathibhara or Gaighat. Meaning they reach everywhere where Nepali football reaches.
GoalNepal has been lifeblood of Nepali football now. Be it rain or sunshine, day or night, they are dedicated to promote Nepali football. We Salute GoalNepal team and of course the man behind it; Bikram Thapa.
(All the pictures: Bikram Thapa Facebook)