Jubilant Phuntsokling FC (Orissa) players lift the 18th Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup 2012. June 5, 2012. (Phayul file)
DHARAMSHALA, July 5: The most coveted football tournament in the exile Tibetan community is all set to begin from July 21 in Rabgyaling Tibetan Settlement, Hunsur in south India.
The Gyalyum Chemo Memorial Gold Cup football tournament this year will see 22 teams from three countries competing for the highest Tibetan honours of the beautiful game. The organisers of the tournament, Tibetan Sports Association in a release this week said the competing teams include 19 clubs from India, two clubs from Nepal and one from Canada.
The tournament, now into its 19th edition will last for twelve days.
Dedicated to the late Diki Tsering, the great mother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the tournament was initially organised in 1981 as a club level tournament. TSA took over the responsibility of organising the GCMGC in 2003 and has since used the tournament to hone fresh talents and select Tibetan football players for the Tibetan national football team. The team has represented Tibet in various tournaments within India and abroad.
The last edition of GCMGC was played at the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Dharamshala with Phuntsokling FC, Orissa lifting the trophy for the first time after beating Tashi Phalkhiel Sports Club, Pokhra on penalties in a nail biting finale.
Former Indian captain, Bhaichung Bhutia and former New Zealand footballer Tim Brown had attended last year’s opening ceremony.