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Bhutan's Sports: Football
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Football tournaments in Bhutan
Football: King's Cup in Thimphu
Dasho Khamsum Singye Wangchuck with the winning team

The BEC Tero Sasana club from Thailand has won the King's Cup 2004 rolling trophy for the second time. In the finals played at the Changlimithang stadium, Tero Sasana defeated the MMC club from Nepal, 3-0, in a match that soon ran out of excitement with Tero Sasana's dominance.

His Royal Highness Dasho Khamsum Singye Wangchuck awarded the trophy to the teams. Also present to witness the game was BFF's president the foreign minister Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk.

Football: King's Cup 2004

Eight teams have participated in the tournament (formerly known as the Federation Cup) including teams from Thailand, South Korea, Bangladesh, Nepal, and India. In the last Federation Cup tournament in Thimphu in 2002, the BEC Tero Sasana football club from Thailand won the tournament defeating Nepal in the finals.

Nepal was represented by its national team, the Indian state of Sikkim has sent its state team, the Kolkata Customs team is a super division club in India, the Ahbanni FC is a leading club in Bangladesh and the South Korean team is a medium level university club from Kangwon Tourism College. The other two teams were the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT) East Command and Bhutan's Thimphu XI. The Thimphu XI team comprising mostly of national players have been undergoing a month long coaching with Korean coach Mr.Kee-Heung, Yoo.

South Korea, IMTRAT, Nepal and Bangladesh have been pooled in Group A , Thimphu XI, Thailand, Kolkata Customs and Sikkim in Group B.

The outside teams had some difficulty playing on the Changlimithang ground which is rough and bumpy compared to other soccer grounds that are carpeted with artificial grass. The Changlimithang ground was closed for a month to improve the field for the tournament.

The federation's general secretary, Ugyen Wangchuk, said that such an event besides entertaining Bhutanese football fans will promote soccer among the Bhutanese. Soccer is already the most popular sport in the country. The King's Cup is one of the two major soccer events in the country apart from the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Memorial Cup which is held in Phuentsholing. "We could organise more of such tournaments but we lack the facility and the budget," said Ugyen Wangchuk. The Bhutan Football Federation was organising the tournament.

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Trashigang wins dzongkhag soccer tournament
Trashigang football tournamant

The Trashigang team won 4-1 defeating Wamrong in their first finals in the tournament. For Trashigang town it was their second win in three years. Last year the Kanglung college team beat the local champions.

Eight teams from Trashiyangtse, Mongar, Samdrup Jongkhar, Kanglung (staff team), Wamrong and local teams from Trashigang town and the Trashigang police team played in this year's Methidang united football club (MUFC) tournament, which has been held since 2002.

Unlike any football tournaments, this tournament allows only nine players a team as the playing field is much smaller than the actual football pitch. "This is the only field we have here in Trashigang and it is much smaller compared to the Changlimithang," said the tournament organiser and the coordinator, Karma R Wangdi. "No initiatives have been taken to expand the field although we have been given Nu. 700,000 by the government for expansion and improvement."

This is the second football tournament of the year, the first tournament was held in June by some private organisers. The Singye Group of Companies sponsored the annual tournament and businessmen from Samdrup Jongkhar, Trashigang, and Thimphu sponsored the individual prizes.

Contributed by Kuensel, Bhutan's National Newspaper
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