Has the World Cup fever gripped you? See these pictures of football in Nepal’s impoverished moutainous region

FIFA World Cup 2014 has begun in Brazil. The biggest sporting event in the world has united people across the globe. Fans of Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany and England, among others, are hoisting the flags of their respective countries in every nook and cranny of the country. Youths are wearing jerseys of their favorite teams. People have started discussing the event even during teatime. The World Cup fever has gripped the people because of the popularity of football as a sport. This sport gives equal excitement in any countries in the world and any geographical situation. If you don’t believe, just see the following pictures. There is neither goalpost, nor net. Also the ground is not geographically suitable for football. If one strucks the ball hard, the ball rolls down the cliff. Despite this, football match is hosted in this ground in Humla and the match attracts many enthusiastic fans. There might not be Mexican waves seen in big stadia, but fans here are getting equal enjoyment.

This photo is of Humla’s Mimi ground. This photo was taken by Prakash KC when women’s team of Mugu and Humla were playing a district level match. At a time when World Cup Football has gripped the world, watch these pictures of the wave of football in Mugu – a remote district of Nepal.

The ground in Humla is situated in such a difficult place. Forget the extravaganza and the ambience of stadia in Brazil.

Local women leveling the ground before the match.

Time for some fun after the ground is leveled.

Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar….the list of your favorite might be long. Can you recognize these players from the remote Mugu district?

Team Mugu, which was formed by assembling young women of different VDCs, reached Humla to play district level football after a trek of two days.

The opponent, Team Humla, was strong. Humla was playing on its home ground.

But Team Mugu lost the match. Win and loss is part and parcel of the game. Such was the situation of Mugu players after the defeat.

After the match, Mugu players returned home after a walk of two hours on snowy trail

She is Sunakali – the striker of Team Mugu.

All the stills are from a documentary titled ‘Sunakali’ directed by Bhojraj Bhat. All photos were taken by Prakash KC.

Mugu lies at the last of the list of 75 districts of Nepal in terms of human development index. The Chankheli Lek, which is printed on the back of Nepali bank note of one rupee denomination, lies on Mugu-Humla border.

Mugu has its own pains and difficulties. Only five percent of total land is arable. Local food production can meet the demand for only three months. The district is dependent on transportation grant provided by the government and INGOs for the remaining nine months. Mugu was linked to the road network at the end of 2012. But motors can’t operate round the year on the difficult graveled road.

The Talcha airstrip, which took 25 years build, is the only airfield in the district. The graveled runway makes flight difficult. However, regular flights are yet to be started. As per the government statistics, the average life expectancy in Mugu is only 44 years. Male has life expectancy of 47 years, while female has 39.

According to Census of 2011, 63 percent of school children in the 15-19 age group are already married. The average literacy rate of the district is only 27 percent. Women literacy rate stands at mere 9 percent. Around 52 percent of the students, who are admitted in Grade I, leave the school before they reach Grade X.

This documentary shows the changes that football has brought in this place. This story is based on a girl who is struggling with hunger, poverty and scarcity in the district, according to journalist Bhat.


  1. Reply
    Andrew June 16, 2014

    For the love of the beautiful game.

  2. Reply
    Prativa Aryal June 18, 2014

    Really the article is very impressive. What I like about this article is the way it shows various pictures of football fans of remote places of our country. Snapshots are also awesome..

  3. Reply

    [...] seen some pictures from a documentary named ‘Sunakali’ directed by journalist Bhojraj Bhat in this blog. There you saw how the young women footballer of Mugu trekked for two days to play a friendly match [...]

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