English | Dzongkha Wednesday, March 3, 2021

BOC hopes to allow sports tournaments from March

Feb 9, 2021

The Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) hopes to allow the conduct of all tournaments starting next month. However, it will happen only if the COVID-19 situation remains the same. The Committee temporarily deferred all tournaments in the country until the end of the month to discourage unnecessary gatherings.

A notification from the Prime Minister’s Office on January 29, stated that all sporting activities will be allowed but with the condition that no tournaments will be conducted. The decision has left many sports federations and private sports organizers in the country worried.

“To further develop football in the country, I have been organizing an open football tournament every year. Last year, I did organize one such tournament but in the mid of the tournament, it has to be called off due to the second lockdown,” said Tshering Nidup, the organizer of the Thimphu Open Football Championship.

He added that “I have still not been able to resume my tournament. I have written to BOC and they have told me to wait for a while. If they can give us permission and allow us to conduct tournaments from next month, it won’t be late for me. But if it continues to remain like this, I will then have to worry.”

“We respect the decision made by the BOC in view of the current situation. But Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) has a lot of football plans and activities throughout the year. We start with the Bhutan Super League, which is the country’s second division league. It is supposed to start in February but with BOC’s decision to not allow tournaments till the end of this month, we are waiting. This has affected our calendar schedule and now we have to push up our tournament calendars with many new tournaments coming up,” said Phuntsho Wangdi, Head of Commercial and Communication of BFF.

Likewise, the sports calendar for the Basketball Federation of Bhutan has also been hampered as they could only conduct one tournament last year. It was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And if BOC allows conducting tournaments, the federation plans to start the Annual Veteran Basketball tournament soon.

Receiving several letters and calls requesting for the resumption of sporting tournaments, the official from the Bhutan Olympic Committee informed that they are hoping to allow the conduct of all tournaments from next month.

“We have received four to five official letters from various organizers and federations asking about the resumption of various tournaments. We have responded to their concerns and told them why we have deferred the dates. However, we are preparing necessary documents related to the resumption of all tournaments and if the COVID-19 situation improves, we will give permission to conduct all kinds of tournaments from next month,” said Namgyal Wangchuk, Head of Sports Research and Development Division of BOC.

Due to the recent lockdown, the Bhutan Women’s National Championship, BFF Club Futsal Championship, Thimphu Open Football Championship and the Interdepartmental tournament organized by the Royal Civil Service Commission had to be temporarily suspended immediately and have not resumed yet.

Passang Dorji

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