KATHMANDU, Sept 13: Friends Club of Kupandol has become another football team to get a title sponsor. The Lalitpur-based A division club struck a one-year sponsorship deal with Nepal Investment Bank Limited (NIBL) amid a function in the capital on Thursday.
President of the club, Ratna Shumsher Rana and CEO of the bank Jyoti Pandey inked the deal on behalf of their respective institutions.
As per the deal, Friends will receive Rs 1.5 million from NIBL for the current season while the club will be officially named NIBL Friends Club during the contract period. The club will also wear jersey with the logo of NIBL in tournaments. Besides domestic tournaments, the club will play tournaments in India as well.
The bank had partnered as the club´s sponsor for two consecutive seasons after 2006. The club had not signed any sponsorship deal since. According to Rana, the previous sponsorship amount was Rs 800,000.
Friends, the oldest club of Lalitpur established in 2029 BS, has already signed four national players -- skipper Sagar Thapa, who will remain in the same capacity in the club, Nirajan Khadka, Deepak Bhusal and Jagjeet Shrestha. The club is scheduled to play against Armed Police Force (APF) on Sunday during the Ncell Cup Football Tournament that kicked off on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Pandey also handed over the club´s new jersey to skipper Thapa.
Speaking on the occasion, Rana said the club was proud to be associated with NIBL.
Rana also opined that financial support from the sponsor was vital for the club as football was becoming more competitive and expensive, and it was a great challenge for the club to meet the expenses from its own resources.
Jyoti Pandey, CEO of the bank, said that the bank was ready to extend the deal in the future.
Meanwhile, ANFA President Ganesh Thapa on behalf of Pandey announced that the bank would provide job to one of the players of the club within a year.
Thapa opined that the sponsorship will play a vital role in the development of professional football. He also recalled playing for Friends for the longest period during his football career.