With the new season of Fantasy Premier League 16/17 launching anytime soon, there is a different level of hype and thrill among the Nepalese managers, yearning to form and manage their fantasy teams.
An exciting competition where one forms an imaginary team with real-league players and the points scored are on the basis of their actual performance, fantasy football has gained wide popularity around the globe – and his its increasing influence in Nepal too.
Among various fantasy competitions, Fantasy Premier League also coined as FPL, played by more than 3 million people is the most popular one. Last season, the competition was played by well over 10 thousand Nepalese managers. The large audience of the English Premier League contributes significantly to the growing popularity of FPL.
With friends to compete, and the chance to establish yourself as one of the good statisticians and predictors, the environment of Fantasy Football is nevertheless highly indulging.
Kathmandu Tribune approached one of the most consistent FPL Managers from Nepal, Navin Sapkota for a brief talk. A supporter of Chelsea in the Premier League, Sapkota has been playing this competition for 8 seasons. A telecom engineer by profession, he has finished as the top manager for Nepal once, and twice in the top 20. Moreover, he finished atop in the recently concluded Euro fantasy which involved 3686 Nepalese managers. He believes watching as many matches and planning ahead on your important decisions are the key. When asked about his mantra for success, he suggested to leave out the fan inside yourself and to play it like a marathon; not a sprint.
Along with in-depth research and involvement, Fantasy Football also requires the right amount of luck. Like Sapkota, there are several managers who play this competition for passion and for the love of the game.
With growing Facebook groups and pages dedicated solely towards the discussion about Fantasy Football, this certainly means Fantasy Football is the new obsession for Nepalese football fanatics.
— Bibidh Subedi