Photo: Kalsang Jigme/In Frame
Bylakuppee, April 10: Doeguling Tibetan Sports Association FC Mundgod beat Gangtok FC in the final of the 24th Gyalyum Chenmo memorial football tournament held under the aegis of the Tibetan National Sports Association here at Tibetan Dekyi Larsoe Football field.
Almost 3500 people thronged the newly built Dekyi Larsoe Sports Association football field to watch the final game between Mundgod and Gangtok.
Long time Tibet supporter Asha Reddy and South Zone Chief Representative Choephel Thupten graced the final game as chief guests.
Gangtok FC who were the favorites to win this year's tournament had to play without three players including their goalkeeper who had maintained a clean sheet throughout the tournament owing to breach of rules regarding Green Book.
On 9th April, Mundgod FC management had appealed to the TNSA to verify the details of their opponent team following which the TNSA banned the three players from the final game.
dejected Gangtok FC players after the game/Photo: Kalsang Jigme/In Frame
With their captain Tenzin Tsephel already banned due to a red card in the previous game, Gangtok FC's chances to win had become slim. However, supporters of Gangtok FC were hopeful that their team would repeat their semi final performance against Clement Town.
With an inexperienced substitute player now in their goal, Gangtok FC conceded an unusually easy first goal as their defender misjudged a ball. Mundgod's Urgyen Sangpo took a first time touch sending the ball past the goal line.
Gangtok FC did make attempts at goal but not enough to put transfer the pressure back on their opponent. Early in the second half, Mundgod were awarded a penalty for a foul by Gangtok defender. Gangtok FC are now two goals behind and players seemed to have given up all hopes of getting back into the game. The match ended 2-0.
The winner gets a hundred and twenty thousand rupees and a trophy, while the runners up gets eighty thousand Rupees. Mundgod last won the cup in 2015, the 21st GCM gold cup.
An exhibition match was played between the Tibetan national women's team and Bangalore United FC women's team which ended in goalless draw.
Gangtok FC's Phurba was adjudged the tournament's best player while Mungod's Tenzin Samdup was adjudged the best goalkeeper. Mundgod's Tenzin Monlam won the golden boot for most number of goals.
The anti-climax of the otherwise successfully concluded 2018 edition of the foremost sporting event in the exile Tibetan diasporas; three players from the Gangtok FC which lost out in the final game, were disqualified after the mandatory documents attesting Tibetan descent were deemed fake.
Tibetan National Sports Association’s Executive Secretary Passang Dorjee confirmed to Phayul that three players from the Gangtok FC, had been disqualified prior to the final game for submitting forged “green book” copies, the “voluntary tax” receipt for exile Tibetans.
“Although we have specific staff assigned to check and verify the documents submitted by the players, there has been a lapse,” Dorjee told Phayul.
The TNSA, its Executive Secretary said, will take punitive actions and hold accountable the team management for the infringement. “We will convene an executive level meeting and decide upon the punishment for Gangtok FC. The team management has also agreed to co-operate and agree to the punishment so decided by the governing body,” Dorjee told Phayul.
The DYSA Mundgod team became the new champion on Tuesday after it edged out a depleted Gangtok FC with two goals, scored each in the two halves of the regulated time.
Gangtok FC has played the prestigious tournament five times in the last two decades, debuting in 1998. The team fielded in the 2018 GCMGC tournament is one with the strongest rosters featuring veterans like Tenzin Tsephel, midfielder Phurba, Pema Lhundup and prolific striker Tenzin Samphel, among others. The team eliminated strong contenders like the Victory FC (22 establishment team) and the tournament’s most decorated team, Dhondupling FC.
The team which fielded three ineligible players until the final game had not conceded a single goal in 5 games prior to the final.Additional reporting by Tenzin Dharpo in Dharamsala